The VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) history of any vehicle lists every accident and traffic violation in which that particular vehicle was involved. When you want to purchase a used vehicle, either from a dealership or from a private seller, you may want to check the VIN history report first. There are three ways to get a free VIN history report.
Ask the Dealer
If you are buying your used car from a dealership, ask the dealer for the report. Usually, before a dealership buys a used car, they ask for and get a copy of the report. It helps them determine if the car is worth what they are going to buy it for or take in trade. That report goes into their files on the vehicle. Ergo, they already have the report and you just have to ask to see it.
Pull the VIN from the Car of a Private Seller and Look It Up
When you buy the car from a private seller, he or she may not have the report at the ready or even know how to get one. That is okay, since all you have to do is pull the VIN number from the dash of the vehicle and plug it into the website of your state's DOT (Department of Transportation). Each state has its own page where the VIN number of any vehicle can be plugged in and you can request a report. Most states do this for free, but a couple still charge a very small fee to show you the report. However, when you want to be sure that the car you are buying from a private seller is not a stolen or previously and severely damaged vehicle, the small fee is really nothing by comparison to the expenses you may pay down the road.
Get the Report from Companies Who Provide This Service
There are a couple of companies that specialize in free VIN histories. Some will give you the basics for free, but then you have to pay a fee to get the "juicy details." For example, the report may just say "traffic accident in such-and-such a year" or "major traffic violation on -this- date," but if you want to know which previous owners did what to the car, you might have to pay a little extra. Since major repairs to the vehicle are also frequently recorded in these systems, you may be able to find out when the last time was that this vehicle had transmission repair or received a new battery.Share
25 February 2016
When it comes to auto repairs, I am lucky. A good friend of mine is very car savvy and is able to make the majority of the repairs that my car needs. However, recently he sprung a question on me that surprised me. He asked if I wanted him to install a new part or a quality used car part. I asked for his opinion and did some research online. I was surprised to find that there wasn't a lot of information out there about when you should and should not use used parts in your car. So that's how this website came to be. I decided to compile the information I learned, so that in the future, someone doesn't have to search all over to decide whether to have a new or used car placed in their car. Hope my website helps you to make your decision!