• Benefits of Knowing a Cars History through a Vin Number

    Car history is tied to a car’s VIN number. A car’s VIN (vehicle identification number) is in essence the same as a person’s DNA. The series of numbers and letters contained in a VIN provide us with the make, the model, where the car was manufactured and the year it was built. Combined, these numbers give each vehicle its own identity. Why is this important? VIN numbers are important because they allow us to trace the origins of the car to legitimize transactions, help to provide proof of ownership, assist manufacturers to keep track of issues and recall notices, and more recently to trace the history of the car. For this article, we will focus on how the car’s VIN can assist the consumer when looking to purchase a used car.

    When it comes to finding information about your future auto purchases, living in the digital age definitely has its advantages. Within the past 15 years, multiple companies have been introduced to the online community with the sole purpose of giving the consumer more buying power when looking to purchase a used car. These companies have the ability and resources to formulate “reports” for virtually every car that is on the road. Since every car’s VIN is unique, these companies are able to use the VIN to establish and keep track of each car’s history. A typical report should consist of the following: how many owners the car has been titled to, if the vehicle has ever been involved in any accidents, any major repairs, dates of previous inspections and/or emissions tests, dates of services, and finally there should be approximate mileage listings.

    You might be asking yourself, how does this information help me, the consumer? Well, everyone’s wish is to have a reliable car that gets them from point A to point B with no questions asked and no headaches along the way. Having the ability to check a car’s history before purchasing it gives the consumer the advantage of insight into how well their car is going to treat them in the future. For example; if the vehicle’s history report shows a major accident, the consumer might want to think twice about purchasing the car. On the contrary, if the vehicle’s history report looks “clean,” (a common word for a good report) with no major accidents reported and a record of all scheduled maintenance completed, the consumer should be more inclined to purchase that particular car as long as a visual inspection also checks out well.

    While free car history reports are an asset to the consumer, they are not the end all solution for selecting your next vehicle. Since these reports carry weight when an individual or dealership is trying to sell a car, sometimes incidents are hidden and/or not reported correctly to preserve the car’s value in conjunction with the vehicle history report. Therefore, it is still highly recommended that the consumer looks out for potential tell tail signs of abuse and/or neglect by giving the car an in person evaluation before purchasing a used car. Furthermore, not all shops will log and report the maintenance done to every car. So if you do not see any maintenance logs in a vehicle history report, ask the seller if they have access to maintenance logs to see if the vehicle has been properly maintained. All in all, vehicle history reports can prove to be a huge asset when you are in the market to purchase your next vehicle.