What Should I Look for in a Vehicle History Report?
A vehicle history report covers everything from the vehicle specifications to market value, title brand checks and everything in between. For the sake of clarity, the information provided in a vehicle history report can be divided into:
Vehicle specifications: This is the most basic information contained in it. It includes the vehicle’s technical specifications, interior and exterior colors, year it was built, list of optional equipment installed, oil capacity, max hp and torque among others.
Safety ratings: This is the result of the comprehensive test program carried out by the IIHS. It gives a clue about the vehicle’s crashworthiness.
Market value: It gives valuable insights about the amount people within your geographical area are willing to pay to have it in their garage.
Title records: This includes the name of the state where it was registered and the number of times it has been registered.
Fuel efficiency: This defines how cost-efficient the vehicle is as far as fuelling is concerned.
Theft records: Highlights if there has been any reports of theft and theft recoveries in the past, logged with the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB).
Accident or salvage records: A comprehensive report of all the minor and major accidents – reported to the police – that the vehicle has been involved in.
Sales records: Very importantly, it shows if a private party or car dealers has listed it for sale.
What Should I Do After Reading The Vehicle History Report?
Once you have extracted a vehicle history report, the actual task begins now. Depending on the vehicle history report, you will have to decide whether it is worth purchasing the vehicle or not. However, before anything else, it should be noted that a vehicle history report can never be a substitute for getting the vehicle inspected by a mechanic. The inspection can help in detecting damage and other problems that the vehicle history report won’t mention.
Here are some of the things to do after reading the vehicle history report:
- Check what the report mentions with the present owner of the car. (If the owner denies what the report claims, this will make sure the deal can be problematic)
- Go on the test drive
- Ask the owner for the maintenance records
- Know the market value of the car before negotiating the price of the car.
- Do proper research on the maintenance and repair costs reports (this will ensure if the used vehicle would demand high maintenance costs too)
How Can I Get a Vehicle History Report?
Going by all that you can get from a VIN check, it is safe to say that getting a vehicle history report is a must for making informed decisions in the used car market. You can get a comprehensive free vehicle history report from providers like VinPit. Using reliable resources like the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), service stations and insurance companies, VinPit familiarizes you with all important details related to the vehicle and helpful in making wise purchases.
Vehicle History Report vs. VIN Check - What’s the difference?
VIN check and vehicle history reports are two terms commonly used interchangeably in this industry. However, they aren't exactly the same.
A VIN check should turn up only basic information like the vehicle’s make, model, year of manufacture, where its parts were assembled, and the engine and drivetrain.
A vehicle history report, on the other hand, highlights even more. This, of course includes service records, ownership changes, odometer discrepancies, change of ownership history, among other things.
Essentially, a vehicle history report is more comprehensive and detailed than a VIN check.