VIN CHECK - A CRUCIAL PART OF YOUR VEHICLE SEARCH
One of the most important parts of buying a used vehicle is the VIN check, the first step you can take as a consumer to find out as much information as possible on a car you are considering purchasing.
This is the initial part of what is known as a vehicle history report, which is a comprehensive document that serves as a chronological biography of a car, from the time it was first registered up until today.
Also known as a VIN Number search, it is the only way to know for sure if a vehicle is problem-free. If there's anything to be concerned about, it will come up...and you'll know right away that this is a car to avoid.
What is a VIN and what does the VIN check reveal about a used car?
VIN stands for Vehicle Identification Number, and every single car in the world has a unique one. It is like an automobile's fingerprint, and no two are alike. Every car, truck, van and SUV built after 1981 has a 17-character, alphanumeric sequence, with each of the 17 letters and numbers signifying something specific about the car.
The above search takes this unique sequence and plugs it into a database of millions of used cars to see what information comes back. It is then incorporated into a full Vehicle History Report, which is a complete analysis of the car, with odometer readings, hidden problems, DMV transactions and other vital pieces of data. The search reveals the complete history, so you can decide if this is the right car for you!
What will I find out about the used car I'm considering?
Although everything you'll discover is useful, what most people are searching for when they run a VIN check on a used car is hidden problems. Oftentimes a seller is unaware of previous mechanical issues, or is unwilling to reveal them for fear of losing the sale. Unfortunately there are always unethical people out there, so you have to play it safe and not take a seller's word for it, even if you are familiar with the seller.
Tapping into DMV records, the VIN Number search can immediately pick up any problems such as persistent mechanical failure, salvage or junk history, insurance loss, water, fire or hail damage, stolen vehicle, odometer rollback and many other red flags. Even a relatively new model could have some serious issues that are not readily apparent upon viewing or even driving the car on the open road for a while.
Is it expensive to get a vehicle history report?
Absolutely not. The initial VIN check above is free. Upon entering the number above, you will first find out if it is valid or not. If any letters or numbers in the sequence are incorrect, it will let you know right away.
If it is valid, it will tell you the year, make, model and trim of the car. Now you might be saying "Isn't that something I already know?" You'd be surprised to find out how many times a seller will tell a potential buyer that a car is a later model than it actually is. And by the time you figure it out, it could be too late.
So if a seller says it's a 2016 Toyota Camry XLE, you might find out from the free check that it's actually a 2015 LE, a big difference. For starters, it's an older vehicle, but also there's a $3000 difference between the top of the line XLE and the base LE model. So right there you've avoided a huge headache.
The full report varies in price, depending on where you get it from and when. We've seen them as cheap as $9.99 all the way up to $59.99. But the most important thing is the comprehensiveness of the report. You may be tempted by a low price, but you might not be getting all of the info on the car. You have to purchase it from a company that has the most data on used vehicles.
We've researched these companies for many years, and have confidently teamed up with Autocheck by Experian for vehicle history reports. They are the leader in the industry, with millions of records in their databases. From what we have seen their reports are the most complete of all of the providers.
They provide three options for you: a single report for $24.99; 25 reports for 21 days for $49.99, and 300 reports for 21 days for $99.99. (prices current as of 2017) If you think about it, that's a really small price to pay to avoid a problem vehicle that could end up costing you thousands of dollars in maintenance and repair.
The VIN check gives you peace of mind when purchasing a used car...you can find out instantaneously which ones are clean, and which ones you should avoid at all costs!
If you're considering a used vehicle, make sure you check that VIN and get a vehicle history report today!
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