Vin Check & History Reports
Has the auto you are buying been in an accident, or is it a lemon? Are you planning on selling your auto, and want to provide potential buyers piece of mind? When it comes to purchasing or selling a used auto, you can avoid major problems by running a Auto VIN Check and pulling a full Auto History Report.
Auto VIN Check & History Report Providers
The two major auto history tracking companies are CARFAX and AutoCheck. Both companies can provide extensive information on a specific VIN and the associated auto that you may be looking to buy or sell, but we recommend CARFAX.
CARFAX: when it comes to auto history reports, CARFAX is the largest provider of information to consumers, dealers, and related industries (i.e. insurance, government, etc.). They are owned by Polk, one of the largest companies in the auto information category. They literally established the category years ago, and their report covers title status (i.e. clear, stolen, salvage), ownership history, repair history, and much more. You can see the basic information about a specific auto for free, and then you can purchase a full single report or unlimited report package to get the detailed background.
The best way to ensure you have as much information you can on a given auto is to obtain history reports from CARFAX. You will find the majority of the information is the same, but each provider has a few unique data sources that may provide a little bit of unique information.
Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs)
Every auto with a model year of 1981 or newer has a unique 17-character code known as a vehicle identification number (VIN). A VIN has many uses, acting as a unique identifier for a specific auto and used to record information when a auto is registered, sold, been in an accident, etc. This helps you find important information about a auto's history from the providers outlined above. VIN's are also used by repair facilities to properly find maintenance information on a specific auto, law enforcement uses VIN's to identify and recover stolen autos and auto parts, and auto manufacturers use VINs to help coordinate and handle safety recalls.
Finding A VIN on a Auto
You can find the VIN in a number of places on a auto, but most commonly on the dashboard where you can see it through the windshield. In addition, there is usually a sticker on the driver's side door. On some autos the VIN is also placed on the engine, hood, and other parts. The VIN may also appear on the auto title, insurance policies, service records and registration information for the vehicle.
Auto History Information from VINs
Each character within a auto's VIN indicates a specific aspect of that auto's manufacturing history; such as year, make, model, where it was manufactured, and more. In addition, the VIN is used as a unique identifier for that auto, much the same way a social security number is used. As a unique identification tool, the VIN is also used to collect and access a comprehensive Auto History Report for that specific auto. Every report contains important information that can impact your decision about a specific used auto. Some of the information you can expect to find in a full auto history report on a specific auto includes:
* Date and Location of past registrations
* Specific title information, including salvaged or junked titles
* Previous odometer readings
* Accident history
* Frame/structural damage
* Accident indicators, such as airbag deployments
* Service and repair information
* Vehicle usage (taxi, rental, lease, etc.)
* Recall information
For the low cost of a auto history report, you can learn valuable information on the auto you are considering to purchase. Every year millions of consumers purchase a auto history report because they want to learn everything they can about the auto they are going to buy.