Title check is the first thing a used car buyer starts with when considering a vehicle. But a comprehensive car title check is more then just examining the title and matching the information with that in the documents and on the vehicle. First of all, of course, you need to eliminate such issues as not actual mileage and any type of title branding. Watch out for such terms as 'salvage', 'parts only', 'major accident', 'theft', 'water', 'fire' or 'hail' damage, 'frame damage', 'rebuilt', 'lemon', 'total loss', 'repossessed', 'non-highway', 'exceeded miles' and other issues in the title. Please note that problem title names vary from state to state, as well as the laws according to which a car is considered salvage. A car which is recognized salvage in one state wouldn't necessarily be issued a salvage title in another state. That's why thorough car title check means investigating car's history and getting reports which include title check information from all the states the car has been previously registered in. If you don't know problem title terminology and what stands behind the terms, such reports will also alert your about the problems that need your attention and explain the meaning of each record found.
Where to do car title check by VIN?
You can run auto title check online. In most cases, vehicle title check means getting the vehicle history report from Autocheck of Carfax, the most reputable car history report providers. Vehicle history reports include the information about the vehicle title and other important important information regardless of the states where the car has been registered. What is particularly important is that these companies provide buy-back guarantee with their title checks. This means if it turns out that the vehicle has been given a branded title not mentioned in the report, the company will buy the vehicle back from you.
Why do title check by VIN?
I the vehicle has a clean title now it does not guarantee that it didn't have a salvage title in the past. Vehicle documentation regulations are not unified coast-to-coast, which enables a number of car scams to work. One of them is the so-called title washing, as scam used by some dealers to hide the vehicle's salvage history. The incidence of such scams just booms after major disasters like hurricanes or floods. A vehicle that has undergone severe damage, such as water or fire damage, or was written off by the insurance company after an accident, has this information stated in the title. This is called title branding. But some states don't recognize a title issued in another state. As a result, any newly registered vehicle receives a new clean title, no matter what happened in the past. The most depressing part of it is that such business in legal under the law of the states there the titles are washed clean. The newly issued titles tell absolutely nothing about the past "sins", leading thousands of unknowing buyers into purchasing cars of significantly decreased or even junk value at high price. Only salvage title check by VIN can help discover what you are actually buying.
Please, note that the definition of salvage title differs from state to state. In some, a salvage title is given to vehicles that suffered severe damage from water, fire of collision. In some, stolen vehicles are also deemed salvage. If the title is all you are concerned of, you can read at Vehicle History Check how to run cheaper VIN checks.
How to check a car title before you get a report
Don't forget such a simple but still important part of title check as matching the information in the title, registration with what you have been told and actually see. Make sure the VIN number in the title matches the one of the vehicle and there are not signs of faking the plate. Also, make sure there are no corrections in the title. Any corrections make the title void.
If you want to check if the car you are purchasing has a lemon title you can do free title check at CarFax website. However, lemon title is not the only problem title a used car may have been assigned. Full title check eliminates odometer rollback, rebuilt, salvage and other titles.
Motorcycle Title Check
Motorcycle title check can be done at websites specializing in motorcycle history reports, like cyclevin.com. Please not that re-assembled motorcycles are a common thing in and most of them cannot be used in the road legally. So before you even do VIN title check and get the report make sure the VIN on the frame AND on the engine match. If they are different, they must match the VIN numbers in the documents.