VIN check - Free?
Is VIN check free? You can't help but ask this question as you browse the web for the sites where you can check VIN for free. The answer will be yes and no. Many of car history report websites will actually offer you to enter the VIN into a special box for you to do VIN number check for free. However, this service should actually be called "free record check" rather then checking VIN numbers for free because it shows only how many records a specific car history report company has got in their database for the VIN number you need to check. In some rare cases the number of records will be 0 (or "no records found" message), which means, of course, that there is no need to buy the full report. However, in the overwhelming majority of cases there will be a number of records in the VIN number check free report, the older the car the more records. The problem is that the record can equally be a major accident or just an emission inspection or a maintenance record. You need the full report to know the meaning of a record and the cost of the service is not high.
Assuming that all the records stand for critical hidden problems may help you avoid a really bad car absolutely for free, on the one hand. On the other hand, assuming this you may reject a really good cat that had minor or no problems. Buying a vehicle with just one or two records is also risky for they may stand for a theft of flood damage. When it comes to VIN check, free record check is not enough to make a safe purchasing decision. Note that different car history companies may have different number of records in their reports. For example, Carfax may have more maintenance and repair records, Autocheck has more accident records. So it's a good idea to get reports from both these companies in order to be better protected. Both these companies provide buyback protection with their reports.
Any Other Ways to Check VIN Number for Free?
You may travel to your local DMV office and try to request police and title records. However, please note that not all accidents may be reported to you local DMV, especially if the car has been registered in other states. Also, don't forget that careful VIN number inspection is a part of pre-sale vehicle check is your own responsibility, and also this is the actual case when you are checking VIN numbers for free. Make sure the VIN on the vehicle and the engine number match those in the documents. Make sure there are no signs of tampering, alteration or obliteration (otherwise report the issue to the nearest DMV). Inspect and record the VIN printed on the frame rather than on the plate. The major online car history report companies provide warranties on their reports obliging to buy the vehicle back from you is the report fails to contain the information about an existing title (total loss, stolen, rolled back odometer etc). But if you check the wrong VIN it's your fault. Always make sure the VIN is correct. This is absolutely FREE. Check VIN help page to see what else you may want to know about the VIN.