A free vehicle history report is what any smart Internet user searches for in the first place when shopping for used cars. Free vehicle history report options do exist. However, stay smart. The cost of the free vehicle history report may turn out higher than of the one purchased for money. On this page we’ll review some options.
The website slogan of one of the oldest providers of car history reports says: “Buying a Used Car? Just Say - Show Me the CARFAX!” AutoCehck is the second of the largest car history report providers. Yes, you can actually get a CarFax or AutoCheck report at the dealership that sells the vehicle, absolutely for free. And many dealerships voluntarily provide the free reports. In many instances, you don’t even have to travel to the dealership - free vehicle history reports can be found right on the dealer’s websites. If it’s the private person you are buying the car from, you can also request a free vehicle history report - many private sellers will bother to get the reports in advance in order to sell their cars faster.
However, would it be wise to rely on the report provided by a seller? It’s up to you to decide. The information in the report may precede the date when a major problem occurred, or make be just faked. That’s why using that free vehicle history report may turn out very costly afterwards. Do you want to stand the chance? I highly recommend always to get the report yourself, not at the dealership or printed out by the private person. For the same reason as you should have the car inspected by an independent mechanic, not a person associated with the dealer in any way.
You can get free vehicle history report online if you search for used cars on the websites of vehicle history report providers . The vehicles found there are supplied with a free vehicle history report and a buyback guarantee for the title, which means that the report provider is ready to buy the car back from you if a salvage title or another problem title not listed in the report shows up. However, limiting your choice to these vehicles will make you let slip the best prices so the real cost of the free vehicle history report may be much higher than you expected. In addition, the dealers have to pay to vehicle history report providers for bulk reports they get for themselves and offer to potential buyers, so the car’s price at the dealership will include the cost of the report, have no doubt about it. The cars listed on AutoTrader.com or Cars.com, will also have a free vehicle history reports attached.
The free VIN check option is available on the major vehicle history report websites. This option tells how many records associated with a certain VIN number they have. However, no specific information about hidden problems. Please, note that a record is not necessarily a problem - it can be a maintenance record (plenty of them in CarFax reports), ownership change, etc.
The free vehicle history report is sometimes confused with a free lemon check from CarFax. This free report will tell if the vehicle has ever been issued a lemon title. However, a problem title is not necessarily a lemon title. The term lemon applies to a vehicle with a major constructive, safety or functional defect that could not be repaired in a reasonable number of attempts. The percent of such vehicles in the market is quite small, while the number of cars with problem titles assigned after accidents, floods or any other sort or damage, as well as stolen cars, faked orometer readings or any other is huge. Moreover, a problem title issued in one state is frequently not recognized in other states which allows the notorious title washing scam thrive and drag more and more unlucky buyers into the rip-off deals. State DMV agencies do not share car title information with each other. Maintenance records from body shops and car auction data are out of the question. You can only get all of these only if you run VIN check for a full vehicle history report.
The law obliges car manufacturers to inform car owners about any recalls. Recall information is available for free at manufacturers’ and NHTSA websites. Please note that your have search for recall information based on the make, model and the year, not the VIN number.