One of the biggest assets that you will ever own is your car. When you are looking to purchase a vehicle, it is important to do a lot of diligence to make sure you are getting a car that will last for a long time while staying in good condition. One type of report you should make sure that you receive when shopping for a car is a vehicle history report.
A vehicle history report is a document that will provide you with a lot of information to confirm the history of the vehicle. Some of the most valuable information that can be found on the report can include a schedule of past ownership, current liens that are on the vehicle, title and past accident history, odometer readings, and other valuable information. All of this will provide you with information that can help ensure you are getting a qualify vehicle. When you are looking for more information about a vehicle, there are several sources that can be used to receive free vehicle information.
Check Vehicle Listing Sites
When you are looking for more information about a car that you are interested in, checking the listing site is a great place to start. If you are shopping for a car from a private party, they likely have it listed online in some public forum. When you are looking for a car online, you will see that there is a section where a seller can give further information about the car history. This can include giving data on past accidents, mechanical issues with the car, history of ownership, and other valuable data. While this can be a good source of information, sellers are not required to fill out these reports online. Because of this, some information could be missing.
Asking the Seller
If the seller of the vehicle has not provided all the information that you are looking for, another great way to get detail is by simply asking the seller for information directly. You should have the opportunity to ask the seller any direct questions you have about accidents, maintenance schedules, or other issues that they have.
While the seller may not have all information that you are looking for, they are required by law to be honest with you during this process. They may also have some formal documentation and past vehicle car reports to provide to you.
Car Report Websites
When you are looking to get the most information possible about a vehicle, you should consider going to a car report website. Some of the top car report websites available today include VehicleHistory and CarFax.
When going to these websites, you will be able to get a wide range of data and history reports about the cars. This can include detailed information about the individual car’s history as well as more information about the brand and type of car. This can include giving you an estimate on the fair market value of the car, predictions about what the cost of ownership and maintenance will be in the future, and expected insurance costs.
When you are visiting one of these websites, you will need to have the VIN of the vehicle plus the make and model. In most situations, your free report will be limited to a snapshot. However, there are situations in which you can get a full free report provided based on promotions that are being offered by the website.
Insurance Claims Reports
One specific document that you could ask for from a seller is the insurance claims reports. Anyone that is driving a car on a daily basis is required to carry auto insurance at all times. If a person selling a car has been in an accident and filed a claim, there will be documentation of it. You could ask that the seller provide you with copies of their insurance records. This should give you an indication as to whether there were several car accidents in the past and what the claim amounts were.
Police and DMV Records
Another great place to get more information about the vehicle is through police and DMV reports. Since it is public information, the local police station may be able to provide you with more information about whether the car was involved in any serious accidents or had any other concerning issues that you should be aware of.
Depending on the state where you live, you could also get information from the local DMV. This DMV could provide you with history of ownership, title transfers, and whether the prior owner was able to keep the car properly certified. With both the DMV and the local police, it will likely take some time to get the information provided after you have requested it. Furthermore, you may need to receive the approval from the seller of the car in order to get some data that you are looking for.