How to find the true history of a used car

Last updated on November 25th, 2021 at 10:52 am by Bill Tsouvalas

The used car market has received some substantial love from car buyers who are looking for the bells and whistles of a new car but comes with an affordable price tag. However, if you are not careful you could land yourself a lemon. Not looking up the car’s history can end up costing you thousands of dollars. Here are a few more reasons why you need to check the history of a used car.

Does it have outstanding finance on it?

It might look good and even purrs right when you take out for a test drive, but your potential used car could come with baggage such as finance owning on it which could rain on your parade. Doing a vehicle search on PPSR can help you know if there are no existing security interests such as; registered debt, if it has been written off, or reported as stolen. A vehicle that has security interests registered against it may not be debt-free which can result in it being repossessed even after you have bought it.

Checking if it has been stolen

A vehicle in Australia is stolen every 9 minutes. You could find yourself unknowingly being in possession of a stolen car which can be repossessed, which can be a downer after spending your money on it and owning it for years. Websites liken CarHistory allow you to do a search on the cars history which will inform you of whether the vehicle has been stolen or not.

Have you checked its service history?

Purchasing a used car that has been taken care of by being serviced is important. CarHistory found that 1 in 4 used cars hold a potential issue. The last thing you want to be driving down the road is a coffin that could cost you more than $2,000 in repairs. The service history can also reveal if the car has been written off. Doing a free service history check can help you check if the car has been repaired at a National Vehicle Security Register (NVSR) Workshop. If your search comes up clean it could mean it has been repaired elsewhere.

Have the odometer numbers been wound back?

It is quite easy to tamper with a car’s digital odometer causing unknowing consumers to be duped into purchasing a car that has fewer numbers on the dial. However, there is a number of state-based laws that slap hefty fees on people and dealers who tamper the numbers. You can also check the cars sales history, which will give you insight into how many times the vehicle has been sold.

Checking the VIN

In short, a cars VIN is a 17-character code which gives you information on; where the vehicle has come from, where it was made, and what has been put in it. This acts as security so that no one will pass off the car as something that it is not. It can also let you know if there is still finance owing on it, or whether it has been involved in serious accidents which compromise the safety of the vehicle.

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