Mistake #2 - Not checking the vehicle history report.

Mistake #2 - Not checking the vehicle history report.

Mistake #2 - Not checking the vehicle history report.
Posted on April 9th, 2023

Vehicle history reports have become an indispensable tool for the used car buyer because they provide specific details about the vehicle’s history that any prospective purchaser should know. 

A vehicle history report can answer the following:

  • Was it ever in an accident or experienced even minor damage?
  • Was it damaged in a hurricane or other natural disaster?
  • How many owners (a one-owner vehicle has more value)?
  • In which city and state was the vehicle registered, serviced, and sold?
  • Was the mileage falsified by rolling back the odometer (these things happen)?
  • Was it a lemon buyback (a new car with ongoing, unresolved problems) or a salvage title (total insurance write-off)?

Some People Prefer a Car to Be Local

A car shipped from snow country to the sun belt risks having undercarriage rust. A vehicle from many southern states may have water damage after sitting outside in a hurricane or flood waters. With a vehicle history report, you can monitor where a car has been and include geographical risks in your vehicle inspection.

For example, an F-150 truck that was shipped from Florida to Nebraska for resale can be inspected for water damage even though the vehicle history report does not specifically list water damage as an issue.

INSIDER INFORMATION: A vehicle history report is a basic, inexpensive tool that every used car buyer should use.

As a professional in the auto industry, I use CARFAX reports for vehicle history. However, I tell my friends to save their money (CARFAX reports are expensive!) and buy VinSmart report s instead. Save over 75%.

In my experience, VinSmart is jus t as good, if not better because it gives you a few things other reports don’t:

  • the vehicle’s value based on JD Power and Blackbook
  • the vehicle’s recall history
  • a title check to make sure there won’t be issues
  • a lien check to make sure there are no loans outstanding on the vehicle

Take a look for yourself. See the VinSmart vehicle history report HERE . 

As a good faith gesture showing transparency about the vehicle’s history, some private sellers will have their vehicle history report available when you look at the car in person.

All reputable dealers will provide a free vehicle history report on any vehicle in their inventory. If a dealer refuses to show you the vehicle history, then run—don’t walk—to the exit.

INSIDER INFORMATION: Don’t invest in a vehicle without knowing its history!

The above article is an excerpt from "The 7 Biggest Mistakes Used Car Buyers Make and How to Avoid Them." Available on Amazon.

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