When buying a used car in the past, it was difficult to know anything about the vehicles past. While you could have the previous owner or dealers word, those folks were not always know to be honest. For an honest evaluation today, you can order a car history.
A car history is a tool that can let you know in a factual way the specific repairs that have been done on a vehicle. Since the odometer reading is reported with each repair, you can easily spot any rollbacks on the odometer. In addition, any body repairs will be noted on the report, so you can know if the car has been in an accident.
You may get reports free in several places, but with the cost of used vehicles it pays to get the more detailed report that will cost only thirty to fifty dollars more. The extra you pay may prevent you from having to spend hundreds of dollars on repairing a lemon of a vehicle.
After you find the vehicle you are interested in buying, take it for a test drive. Then order your car history report. You may be offered a copy from the dealer; however, you can easily order one for yourself. When reviewing a report be sure that it is no older than a couple of days.
To order the report you will need the VIN number to request a history of the vehicle. This number can be found on the dash or the driver’s side door panel. The car history will let you know how many owners the vehicle has had and how long they have owned the car. If you see the word lease or fleet on the report, it may have been part of a motor pool and not have had the best of care taken when driven.
You will also want to look for flood damage. There were many cars that were flooded a few years ago in Hurricane Katrina that were shipped from of Louisiana to be sold to the rest of the states. Car history reports will let you know if the car has had flood damage.
Do not trust the dealers car history report, pay to get your own. Be sure that you double check the VIN number from the report with the one on the vehicle. This can save major headaches down the road. Taking the time to get a report may also give you some cooling off time to be sure that you want to buy the vehicle before signing paperwork.
Also check ask the National Insurance Crime Bureau for a report. This will assure that your are not buying a vehicle that has been stolen and not recovered. You do not want to be stuck with a stolen vehicle. There is no guarantee that you will get the money you have invested back.
Buying a used car no longer has to be a shot in the dark. With a car history, you can know if the car you are considering has had major damage or repairs before you buy the vehicle.