General Buying Information

How To Get A Free Car History Check


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There are multiple ways that someone can go about obtaining a free car history report. The first thing to do is to get the VIN or Vehicle Identification Number of your car. It can be found on the driver's side front corner of the dash. Some vehicles also have the number in the door jam on the driver's side. It is almost impossible to see the number on the dash from inside the vehicle, so looking down through the windshield from outside the car will make the job a bit easier. Along with your VIN, make sure to write down the year, make, model and trim level of your vehicle, just in case it is required.

Here are the 3 major destinations to receive a free report. Have your VIN and vehicle information ready and proceed to the following websites.

AutoCheck - AutoCheck is a part of Experian Automotive. Like most website, you need a VIN to get a vehicle history report. AutoCheck provides car facts on what, why, where, when and how about new and used cars of most makes and models - though they usually don't have data on new cars. They charge 19.99 for a single report and $29.99 for unlimited reports for 60 days. The following details will be provided with a report:

  • Report shows number of owners
  • Unlimited reports available
  • Reports featuring AutoCheck Score
  • Vehicle data backed by Experian Automotive
  • Exclusive auction data
  • A report used exclusively by 95% of all automotive auctions
  • Official Vehicle Report of the National Automobile Dealers Association (N.A.D.A.) Used Car Guide

http://www.CarFax.Com - One of the most trusted providers of vehicle history information. CARFAX is used by millions of consumers every year. You will receive the following details on a CarFax report:

  • Title information, including salvaged or junked titles
  • Flood damage history
  • Total loss accident history
  • Odometer readings
  • Lemon history
  • Number of owners
  • Accident indicators, such as airbag deployments
  • State emissions inspection results
  • Service records
  • Vehicle use (taxi, rental, lease, etc.)

Local DMV or Department of Motor Vehicles - The Department of Motor Vehicles In most states will provide free car history reports. Some will also provide lien histories free of charge. Most DMV's have a website but in some smaller or more restrictive states, you may have to actually go to the DMV office to receive your report.

Always perform more than one check, like a second opinion in a medical circumstance. Once you have done multiple checks, look over the summaries and compare the vehicle information of each to ensure the proper details were entered. Compare the report details to each other. You may find a discrepancy in the number of records found.

There are many websites out there that are masked or renamed but eventually take you right back to the same site over and over again. You will be better off going to the major sites directly, as the "affiliates" as they are referred to, are private owners that are paid for referring their website traffic to the major sites.

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