Why You Need A Used Car History Report Before You Buy
When you drive away from a used car dealership, you should feel excited about your purchase. You should also get a used car history report to back up your enthusiasm. Used car salespersons tell you only what they want you to know. When you do your own investigation, you find unbiased answers to your most important questions.
A Used Car History Report and Other Resources
Begin your used car investigation at the National Motor Vehicle and Title Information’s website, vehiclehistory.gov. NMVTIS is a Justice Department agency that collects vehicle data from all 50 states. They work with 13 service vendors who provide used car history report information to consumers and businesses.
Know What to Look For on a Used Car History Report
Before you review your used car history report, make a list of relevant questions. Here are a few to consider.
What is this car’s actual mileage?
Buyers pay more for a vehicle when the mileage is low. That’s incentive enough for some sellers to tamper with the odometer. The NHTSA’s Office of Odometer Fraud Investigations estimates that odometer fraud costs American consumers over a million dollars each year. You can protect yourself by checking the vehicle transactions in your used car history report. They show the mileage documented with each sale or purchase.
Was this car ever totaled in an accident?
To avoid illegal “title jumping,” insurance companies obtain a salvage title when they total a vehicle after an accident. This title history is included in a used car history report. You can also run a free vehicle identification number check at the National Insurance Crime Bureau website, nicb.org. The website also has a list of links to VIN services for boats, motorcycles, and large commercial vehicles.
Has this car ever been stolen?
Insurance companies report stolen, non-recovered vehicles to NICB. You can obtain this information with a free VIN search.
Does the vehicle have a pending safety recall?
Owners don’t always have their vehicles fixed after a recall. Sometimes they move and the notice never catches up with them. You can check for pending recalls at the NHTSA website, safercar.gov.
Has the vehicle ever been in a flood?
Flood damage affects a car’s mechanical and electrical functions but they are often undetectable upon inspection. If an insurance company totals a vehicle due to flood damage, they should indicate “flood” on the salvage title.
You can find flood title information with a free VIN inquiry at the NICB site or on a used car history report. If an insurance company didn’t pay for the flood-damaged vehicle, a used car history report will explain if they believe the car was damaged in a flood event based on location history.
Roggi’s Auto Service in Hartford CT
If you plan to buy a used car, our mechanic can take a look under the hood and answer many of your questions. Give us a call at (860) 200-3480 to schedule your appointment. We promise to treat you like family.