Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Make Sure to Check a Used Car's Vehicle History Report Before Buying it

Are you in the market for a used car? If so, you are probably wondering whether it is worth getting a vehicle history report before making your purchase.  The answer is yes.  Getting an accurate vehicle history report online costs a few bucks initially, but it can save you money and headaches down the road.

So where do you start? There are three main sources of vehicle history reports online: Carfax, AutoCheck, and NMVTIS.
Carfax is probably the best known and most trusted of the three.  You can get a Carfax vehicle history report online for $39.99.  According to Carfax, their vehicle histort reports check for a long list of problems, including: prior accidents, mileage rollbacks or rollovers, multiple owners, structural damage, lease, taxi, or police use, salvage, rebuilt salvage, other vehicle brands, flood damage, total loss history, airbag deployment, hail damage, recall information, service and maintenance history, warranty information, and more.  Carfax claims to have the most extensive vehicle history database in North America, with over 6 billion records.  And, according to Carfax, they receive data from over 34,000 different sources.  Vehicle history reports can be viewed on your computer, tablet, or smart phone, and CarFax also offers a 100% money back guarantee.  To request a Carfax vehicle history report, click here.
AutoCheck is a slightly less well known, but widely used, competitor.  You can get an AutoCheck vehicle histort report online for $29.99.  According to AutoCheck, their database is built and maintained by Experian, who has exclusive data sharing relationships with many industry sources who provide Experian with access to exclusive data to available to AutoCheck's competitors.  AutoCheck also reports that industry leaders such as NADA guides, CarMaxx, eBay Motors, Kelly Blue Book, and have chosen to provide AutoCheck vehicle history reports to their customers.  AutoCheck recommends that you obtain and AutoCheck vehicle history report in conjunction with other reports to "fill in the gaps" in other vehicle history reports for issues that other providers do not cover.  To request an AutoCheck vehicle history report, click here.  

NMVTIS, or the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System, was developed by the federal govenment.  A vehicle history report from NMVTIS will cost you anywhere from $0.25 to $4.95.  NMVTIS is operated and managed by the US Department of Justice.  According to NMVTIS, their database provides records relating to current and previous state of title data, title issue dates, latest odometer data, theft history (if any), any title brands, salvage history, and total loss history.  To request a NMVTIS vehicle history report for just 25 cents, click here
A vehicle history report can help alert you before purchasing a problem vehicle.  And, when making such a major purchase like a motor vehicle, you should be armed with vehicle history reports from all 3 of the above providers.  This way, each report can fill in the gaps that the other may have missed and work together to give you the most accurate view of the vehicle's history available. 
Unfortunately, while in most cases they are extremely helpful, vehicle history reports are
only as good as the information that is reported to them. So if an accident or accident repair is unreported, then it will not show up on a vehicle history report.   Likewise, if information is inaccurately reported, then that inaccurate information will likely appear on the vehicle history report. 
So, if you find yourself with a vehicle with a title brand or accident history that you did not know about when you purchased the vehicle, then in most states you will have legal rights against the seller for damages and maybe even be able to cancel the sale if you act quickly enough.  Click here for a free online 50 state list of consumer law attorneys.  And act quickly- because for every legal right you have there is only a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit in court before your rights expire. 
Good luck car hunting!

Beth Wells
Helping Consumers Get Rid of Lemons, 9 Years Running


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