Checking Vehicle History

damaged carSledge Hammer Charity Car

Do you have to check vehicle history? The answer in my opinion is yes you better.

Back in the old days when you bought a used vehicle you were taking a gamble. There was no quick way to check on what the car or truck had been through before you got it.

Now there are several popular database websites that do nothing but collect and store this information. I'm sure you've seen commercials from several of the more popular services available to automotive consumers.

On this page I'm going to talk about 2 that I have never seen advertised on television, but you might recognize the names. In my opinion this service works just as well if not better and doesn't cost as much as the one that has a large advertising budget.

Determine whether the vehicle you're about to purchase is exactly what you were told it is. Check vehicle history with exclusive data from public data bases collected by Experian.

What the Automotive History Report Covers

I'm sure you would want to know if the car has ever been in an accident.

If the answer is yes, have the vehicle checked for frame damage and improper repairs by a body shop or qualified technician. It is also nice to know how many people have owned this car before you.

If the vehicle changed hands often this could be a sign of a troubled car. When you check vehicle history your report will include information about damage from floods, fires, hail, or other natural disasters.

It reports on mileage at the time of state inspections and documented repairs so you can decide if you can trust the odometer. Experian's auto-check report is a little more expensive then VIN audit but will notify you about open manufacture recalls related to safety and reliability.

In most cases if a recall is open you can take the vehicle into a dealership for a no charge repair. The Experian report tells you if the car was ever repossessed or stolen. It may cover more things I can't think of right now.

Why Run Vehicle History

I would say that you always need to check into the background of a used vehicle you're going to buy.

For me the fact was really driven home when I watched the pictures on the local news about six years ago from New Orleans after Katrina's wrath.

Cars were floating down the street and deposited neatly in backyards and in some cases rooftops. After the water receded and the news channels went back you could see these cars often had no exterior damage and the paint was clean and shiny.

In some cases these vehicles were lightly reconditioned and distributed to used car dealers throughout the country. I say in some cases because if the vehicle had full coverage insurance and a claim was processed in most cases these vehicles were totaled and junked.

It was the vehicles that only had liability coverage that you need to worry about. With just liability coverage the owner of the vehicle was forced to take the loss or find someone to help them recover some equity from the vehicle.

If you check vehicle history beware if it was ever titled in Louisiana, Mississippi or Alabama. For more information about how to check for damaged on a vehicle your interested in visit the used cars area.

For a quick list of general do's and dont's in reference to pre-owned car shopping this next link takes you to a quick used car buying story.

For an overview of the kind of automotive information you can find here this next link takes you to the homepage. You can find many answers to more car questions.