All the future car owners are looking for ways to check car history. Each vehicle has a unique ID number, i.e., VIN. Many governmental agencies, as well as private enterprises, record information about each car. In VIN-reports, all this information is collected together. So, you can find everything in them: the history of the car, information about previous owners and sales, and even insurance payments info.
Despite the fact that so many consumers use Carfax to make these reports, we encourage you to check if there is a good Carfax alternative to use. The trick is that you can get some data for free, so why not do it?
How to Read VIN-Reports
The ability to read a report correctly and get the most information from it will be a guarantee that you will not regret the money spent on acquiring the car. Before ordering a report, double-check the VIN-number. It is located under the windshield on the driver’s side.
It is sometimes useful to check whether all parts of the car are the same as in the original model. It is necessary to understand whether the car has been repaired. For example, if a CD changer is to be installed in this model, but you can find only a regular CD player, then it is likely that some manipulations have been made with the car. Such moments should alert a potential buyer.
After receiving a report, pay your special attention to the following titles:
- Salvage: This is a car that has been damaged so much that its actual value does not exceed 25% of the original price.
- Junk: many states use this title to indicate a vehicle that is not safe to operate.
- Rebuilt and/or Reconstructed: this mark refers to cars that have been in major accidents and are subjects of major repairs.
- Fire/Flood: these cars have been damaged by fire or floods and may have serious problems with electrical systems.
- Hail Damage: if the car was damaged by hail, it will not create any problems with the mechanics. Usually, this is only a cosmetic issue.
- Not Actual Mileage: it usually means that the odometer data is not true.
- Frame Damage: This phrase appears in VIN-reports if there is damage to the mainframe or a whole car body.
- Accident: many vehicles had accidents. Before buying a car, be sure to inspect it by a qualified mechanic.
Buying a used car is a good investment, but it requires special attention from the legal and technical sides. Make sure that the vehicle history doesn’t contain any doubtful facts as accident records or serious repairs. It will guarantee your full satisfaction after making a deal. If you have any doubts – ask professionals for help. Enjoy your purchase!