You can save a lot of money by purchasing a used car. Most people don’t run into any problems when purchasing a used car from a dealer, because the dealers inspect the vehicles for problems before listing them. However, you should still always do your due diligence before making a purchase. The most important thing that you can do is check the vehicle history report.
Vehicle history reports contain almost all relevant information before purchasing a previously owned vehicle. Here are some of the details that they contain:
- The make and model of the vehicle
- The previous owner’s driving record
- Any back fees for registration or unpaid tickets
- Any damage to the vehicle
- Any accidents that the vehicle has been in
You can read more about vehicle history reports on the DMV website. It is a good idea to learn as much as possible about them.
Ordering a Report
You will always want to order a vehicle history report before purchasing a used vehicle. You can order these reports through the dealer or from independent agencies such as Autocheck or Carfax. You can check the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System for information about various companies that allow you to order vehicle history reports. Many of them specialize in a specific region or type of vehicle.
You need to know what to look for after ordering the report. Here are some possible red flags to look out for:
- Odometer tampering. Vehicle history reports will state whether the owner has tampered with the odometer. You should always avoid purchasing a vehicle is this has happened. People that have tampered with an odometer may have committed other offenses that haven’t shown up in the vehicle history report, such as choosing not to report accidents to the DMV.
- History of major accidents. You should always be cautious about purchasing a vehicle that has been in a major accident. It may have incurred damage that wasn’t identified by dealer during inspection, so you will want to have an independent inspection before making a purchase.
- Failed inspections. You will want to find out why a vehicle failed any inspections. You may need to spend a lot of money bringing it up to standards to get it registered. It may be worth looking at alternate vehicles instead.
There are a number of factors that need to be taken into consideration when purchasing a vehicle. Many of them will show up in the vehicle history report, so make sure to read it carefully.