The Benefits Of Getting A Free VIN Report Before You Buy A Used Car

Automotive Blog

If you are considering the purchase of a used car, you may be doing so to save money. While many used vehicles are in great shape and will cost you less over the long term, you should be aware of the many cars out there that may look and sound great at first, but have problems that will be costly to repair later on. Learn why getting a free VIN history report for the used vehicle you are thinking about buying is a good idea.

VIN Reports: Free Or Not Free?

You can get a free VIN report through your local Department of Motor Vehicles. However, in many free reports, the information you get is limited to those related to the complaints of previous owners. If you pay for a full VIN report, you are more likely to get important details like insurance claims that can make or break your final decision about a purchase. The following are some of the details you may learn about a used car that may look great and run good:

  • Flood Damage: A car that has been in a flood may experience serious issues like engine corrosion that can lead to expensive repairs, not to mention leaving you stranded away from home. A flood-damaged car may also have a bad interior odor that will not go away if you leave it with the windows up for a day or so, a sign that mold or mildew could be present in it, a known health hazard. Buying a car report can help you learn if a car has ever been claimed against an insurance company for flood damage.

  • Collision Damage: In many free and paid car VIN reports, you can see if a car has ever been involved in an accident. However, while some collision damage does not compromise the vehicle and was easily repaired, other damage can cause huge issues later on. If a car was totaled and has suspension issues, you may have an expensive repair bill because the warranty may not cover it if it was not listed in the VIN report. If you are looking at a car that has had minimal damage, it is best to have a qualified mechanic take a look at it before you buy for making sure the damage is truly only minimal.

  • Title Liens: If you buy a car and there is lien against it, you will not be able to get the title for it until the lien is paid off. The last thing you want is a loan someone else took against the car you bought standing between you and its complete ownership. A lien will show up in most car VIN reports.

Making the smartest choices about the purchase of a used vehicle is the best way to save money for a dependable vehicle. Take the time to invest in a full VIN report about any used car you are considering for purchase to avoid buying a lemon.


25 January 2016

About Greg Chapman

When I was little, I'd watch old movies with my grandfather. One of my favorite scenes was when Steve McQueen tried to jump that big fence on his motorcycle in "The Great Escape." After I saw that, I just wanted a motorcycle. I was obsessed with them! My grandpa knew that, and he helped me build one for myself. He took me shopping for all the parts, taught me about the mechanics of it all, and walked me through all the building and repairs. Since then, my love has expanded to all things that run with a motor, including cars. Even though I'm not a professional, I'm quite skilled, and that has proven handy when it comes to my own repairs and the simple enjoyment of riding my bikes. Check out my blog!