free vehicle history report

free vehicle history report

The Importance of Vehicle History Reports

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1. Understanding the Value of Vehicle History Reports

Vehicle history reports offer useful information to those who are in the market for buying a vehicle. Dealers and individuals who are selling cars can often utilize VHR as a means of proving the value of the vehicle in hopes of getting a higher asking price. However, private sellers can suffer if VHR brings negative aspects of the vehicle to the surface. As this information is detrimental to the seller, it is helpful for the buyer to easily bargain a lower buying price. The helpfulness of vehicle history reports to buyers is very apparent. People who are thinking about buying a car often question the reputation of that model and year, seeking posted reports from others who have owned the same vehicle. A VHR of the specific vehicle identification number can recreate a similar detailed report, often using terminology that the buyer can easily understand. If a specific car has had many common problems, it is likely that information can be found through a vehicle history report. This way, the buyer can be informed of how certain problems may affect the car and at what price the car is still worth purchasing.

There are some car owners who are amazed as to how a vehicle history report can be of value considering that they already have a roadworthy car. However, even for those who are doing perfectly fine with their vehicles, gaining insight through a vehicle history report is likely to give ideas of maintenance that can further ward off problems in the future. For people who are buying a second-hand vehicle, VHR is a useful tool to gauge overall ride quality. A car may have good mechanical quality, but a disheveled interior can greatly impact the satisfaction in vehicle ownership. Information on some common past problems can also help lessen the anxiety of a car breaking down and becoming a waste of money.

2. What Information is Included in a Vehicle History Report

The first part of a vehicle history report is usually the title summary. This section will list the number of titles issued on the vehicle and where the titles were issued. A title issued shows a change of ownership of the vehicle. It’s considered to be an important event and is generally when most damage from an accident is reported and most mileage discrepancies occur. The fewer title changes in ownership the better. If you see more title changes than the owner has acknowledged, it may not be the same vehicle. A vehicle may be titled and registered in different states which is something to keep in mind should the reported information not coincide with the information on the history report. Finally, a title that is stamped with “salvage” or “flood” will drastically reduce the vehicle’s value and will affect your ability to obtain financing on that vehicle thus making it a less than desirable purchase candidate.

The key to understanding vehicle history reports involves knowing what to expect when you obtain one. What will you learn? What might remain a mystery? Vehicle history reports generally inform you of the following: what title documents have been issued, whether the vehicle was involved in any reported accidents, the extent of any reported damage, service records, whether the vehicle was involved in a reported theft, the location of where the vehicle has been registered, emission inspection results, and any recall or warranty information on the vehicle. Knowing you’re going to have an easier time discerning what a vehicle history report “really” means.

3. Benefits of Obtaining a Free Vehicle History Report

The importance of obtaining a vehicle history report is evident. This information can provide insight into a vehicle that a seller might not disclose. This information can save the buyer time and money, suffering headaches of a vehicle with hidden problems. It can also create a higher bargaining factor for a reasonable price on a vehicle. With a detailed history, a low-priced car may, in fact, have problems that bring its value down. A vehicle history report will help find the true value of the car.

By obtaining a free report from CARFAX and a small fee (approx. $20) from AutoCheck, a customer can view the entire history of the vehicle from the comfort of their home. This information includes whether the vehicle was ever totaled, salvaged, junked, or flood damaged; any accident or damage reports; the last recorded odometer reading; any title problems; service and registration history; and the vehicle’s value at the current time. These reports will almost guarantee the satisfaction of the buyer, knowing that they have made a well-informed decision on their purchase. With this knowledge and the convenience of the internet, a buyer no longer has to solely rely on a dealer about the history of a vehicle. Instead, the buyer can print out the vehicle history and take it with them when meeting a private seller or salesman with information about the car in question.

Purchasing a used vehicle can sometimes be a gamble. Many used car buyers are completely unaware that once a car is sold by a dealer and driven off of the lot, it immediately depreciates in value. Often, used car dealerships buy vehicles at “dealer only” car auctions where the quality and history of the vehicle can often be unknown. Some dealers or private sellers attempt to resell vehicles that were bought at an auction and have come from a flood or other disaster (which can total the vehicle), cleaned up, and then put back into the market to turn a quick profit. Unfortunately, the buyer of one of these vehicles is the one who loses out. The seller does not have to disclose this type of information to the buyer and the vehicle often has a very short lifespan before it begins to have major mechanical problems. Many states do have a “lemon law” but this law varies by state and does not always protect the buyer.

4. How to Obtain a Free Vehicle History Report

Since a vehicle history report contains vital information on the subject vehicle, it is helpful and wise to obtain one before purchasing the vehicle. Branigan recommends obtaining a vehicle history report as one step in the process of purchasing a used vehicle. He says that as a consumer, it is especially important when making a decision on a used vehicle. A vehicle history report contains important and useful information regarding potentially buying a used car. Some information that a vehicle history report contains is an assessment of the value of the vehicle, the dependability of the car you are thinking of purchasing, and if the vehicle has sustained any serious problems in the past such as major accidents, fire, or flooding. Branigan also says that as a consumer you won’t have to run through an array of searches on the internet, or make any phone calls, it’s a one stop shop for all the useful information needed to make a decision on a used vehicle. It is a fairly easy and convenient process as the reports can be requested online or AutoCheck allows a search to be done by the vehicle identification number (VIN). This in turn saves the consumers time and energy as they no longer have to pursue other methods to find information on a used vehicle. Although a small fee is required to obtain a vehicle history report from companies like Carfax and AutoCheck, there is a way to access the same information but at no cost.

5. Conclusion: Making Informed Decisions with Vehicle History Reports

With easy access to these reports, used cars now provide more transparency to the buyer and are less of a gamble. Moving forward, used vehicles will continue to come with more and more of a story, eventually bringing us to the point where new vehicles are purchased with the intent of the vehicle outliving its owner. At this point in time, the vehicle history report may just evolve into a vehicle history income for future buyers looking to compare their soon-to-be ‘previously enjoyed’ vehicle’s new history report to the reports of vehicles openly sold with their entire history on display.

With the wide use of the internet, vehicle history reports can now be ordered online. Many different companies, such as Carfax and Experian, offer the ability to run a used vehicle’s VIN number through their database to generate a detailed report of the vehicle’s history. These reports can be accessed by consumers as printable buying guides on the seller’s website. In addition to reducing the fear of hidden problems, many of these websites offer these vehicle history reports at a fraction of the cost of similar reports in other industries.

Vehicle history reports have become an integral part of the used car buying process, and both buyers and sellers rely on them to make informed decisions. This report has the potential to either make or break the sale of the vehicle. Used car shoppers will often refuse to buy a used car if the seller does not have a vehicle history report. At the same time, a used car seller may find it difficult to sell a vehicle that has a negative vehicle history report.

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