Buying a used vehicle involves many test drives and checkups. However, you can leave that up to your mechanic and focus on things you can do to get a good deal while buying a used car. Most people suggest running history checks on a vehicle to understand how the vehicle is maintained by the previous owner.
The only problem here is people find it challenging to get these records by the owner. That is why we will discuss all the checks you can run on a vehicle followed by how you can run these checks anonymously.
So let’s begin by understanding a few things about the vehicle’s identity and how a person can access it online.
What is a Vehicle Identification Number?
A vehicle identification number (VIN) works as a unique identity for every registered vehicle. Just like a social number, VIN helps in tracking all the records of a vehicle effortlessly. The uniqueness of a VIN depends on various factors, making it a perfect option to track the details of a vehicle.
Manufacturers mark VIN on a vehicle at different places to ensure customers can find it easily. However, in some cases, people will need to check some odd places like under the bonnet, or driver’s seat.
This set of numbers and characters usually informs you about the manufacturing details of a vehicle. However, performing a lookup on this VIN can help you access some other records like service reports, lost/stolen reports, or manufacturer recalls.
Note: People who own a Mercedez will purchase VIN decoder that can decode any model offered by this manufacturer. The same thing goes for other car manufacturers as well.
Things to Look for When Running a Vehicle History Report
If you do not have experience in running VIN checks, you can refer to this guide to understand the main parts of a VIN report. However, please know that every purchase is unique and you might need to work with a mechanic to ensure the physical condition of the vehicle as well.
- Vehicle’s Recall History
Do you know that a manufacturer can recall a vehicle if they find any manufacturing fault in it? Although it is not the owner’s fault, you still need to check the recall history to ensure there are no major damages to the vehicle. The good thing about a recall is that the complete matter is addressed by the manufacturer’s team. It means the vehicle gets proper care and it is usually safe to buy these vehicles.
Similarly, the car owner can also request a vehicle recall if they find any security issue in the vehicle. Overall, you should check out this history to understand what you are buying yourself.
- Vehicle’s Accident Records
There are problems in buying a vehicle that has some accident history. The first and the most important concern of every buyer is to find out if there was any harm to any public property or life of a person. If there is any damage, you need to ensure the matter is already resolved before signing the papers.
The second concern is whether the vehicle got the proper service after the accident or not. Usually, a vehicle with an accident history does not perform up to the customer’s expectations and requires more frequent service than others. So, consider this thing when you perform a VIN check on a vehicle.
- Vehicle’s Documents
Accessing the vehicle’s registration documents, insurance, and service records is an obvious hack of literally every car buying guide in the world. To ensure you do not end up buying a stolen vehicle, make sure to access the online records of the vehicle to check its theft records. Also, you can compare the documents with the ones offered by the car dealer.
You can also check the insurance papers to find out if there were any claims for the reimbursement for any reason. It also gives you an idea of how much you are saving on insurance if you go with that vehicle. All things considered, accessing the vehicle’s documents is as crucial as checking the condition of a used vehicle.
- Vehicle Specifications
As we mentioned earlier, you can find the complete records of a vehicle by its VIN. It also includes the specifications of the vehicle to know its manufacturing country, manufacturing factory, vehicle line, type, engine, model, size, and almost everything you need to know about it.
Thus, keep an eye on the vehicle specifications to get the exact value of a vehicle.
- Vehicle Usage
Check the vehicle used to find out how much the previous owner has used the vehicle. You can also check if it was used as a personal vehicle or as a taxi. You can find the exact numbers in the VIN report, even if the car dealer has changed the real numbers in the vehicle meter.
If you find it challenging to access any of these records, we recommend taking some professional help in running VIN checks. It can save you thousands of dollars.
How to Run a VIN Check on a Vehicle?
If you are wondering how to access all these records, let us make things clear here. To know the details of a vehicle, you need to use a VIN decoder. It helps you decode the VIN of a vehicle to access its details.
Many websites are helping you access these records. However, using the specific VIN decoders for each manufacturer offers better and accurate details. Thus, we recommend going with the exclusive decoders for each car manufacturer.
We are sure you will find some other things in a VIN report that we avoided in this article. However, the main thing is to focus on the record that matters to you. Some of the factors are related to safety that can not be avoided. On the other hand, factors like vehicle usage, vehicle specifications help close a better deal for a vehicle.
We recommend using some trusted VIN decoders to find this information as it makes your work much easier.