You’re looking for a used car to own as your daily driver, and you’ve suddenly stumbled upon a great deal. The vehicle is a few years old, has low miles and is priced below its estimated value.
But you suspect something isn’t right. Surely it’s too good to be true.
Going for a test drive isn’t the only way to determine whether or not you should buy a used car, and not everyone knows how to inspect a vehicle’s mechanical condition.
So you pull the vehicle history report. But what exactly are you looking at?
With the vehicle’s VIN number, you can look up virtually anything about a car’s history.
Terms to know in a Vehicle History Report:
Title information – Shows if the vehicle has been reported to have been issued a negative title “brand” like salvage or junk that often come with severe accidents
Number of titles – Shows the reported ownership history and the possible ownership changes
States of title – Provides the states that the vehicle has been reported titled or registered in previously
Salvage or junk information from titles or other sources – Shows if the vehicle has been reported as a salvage vehicle by a state or has been reported at auction or junk yard
DMV-reported odometer problems – Shows when the vehicle has been reported to having had its odometer rolled back or broken
Lemon history – Shows if the vehicle has a been reported as a lemon
Insurance total loss information – Shows if the vehicle has been reported as a total loss by an insurance company
Auction history – Lets the buyer know if it has been reported at an auto auction
Accident history – Shows if the vehicle has been in a reported accident or has sustained damage
Air bag deployment – Shows whether or not the vehicle’s airbag has been reported as deployed
Mileage readings – Lists the odometer readings that have been reported for the vehicle
Service records – Shows any reported service information
State emission inspection results – Shows the results of a state inspection or emission results as reported by the state
Warranty or service contract availability – Shows whether or not the vehicle has been covered by warranty or service contract
Though the vehicle history report is a valuable tool when deciding on a used car, it’s only one step in the buying process. See more articles from Price My Auto to find out what you can do to make sure you buy the right used vehicle.