October 3, 2023
Auto Repair

Next to a home, a vehicle is one of the most expensive purchases individuals make during their lifetime. Not everyone has the ability to buy a new vehicle, which means a pre-owned car is an attractive option. But, before making a final decision, prospective owners must consider acquiring a vehicle history report, which provides a wealth of information. 

Verifies Mileage Accuracy

A vehicle’s history report, or VHR, ensures that the mileage displayed on the odometer is accurate and has not been altered. Over the life of the vehicle, its mileage is often recorded during inspection stops or during maintenance and repair events. Although changing the mileage is considered a criminal offense, the act occasionally takes place. A history of the car alerts potential buyers and sellers if suspicious activity has occurred. 

Exposes Potential Legal Matters

Car buyers have inadvertently purchased a vehicle and have been unable to add their name to the title secondary to unresolved legal matters. The former owner may still owe on a lease or loan used to originally purchase the vehicle, which prevents it from having a clear title. Spending the money to obtain a VHR helps consumers avoid possible legal complications from the onset. 

Provides Previous Owner Timeline

The vehicle report provides the purchase and sale dates of each individual involved prior to being currently available for sale. As a rule, a quality pre-owned car does not have a lengthy multiple-owner history. Consider it a red flag for any car bought and sold many times. The information may indicate a probable lemon having various mechanical drawbacks. Each entry is also necessary to ensure the car has a clear title. 

Details Collision Information

Collision history is among the topics of information disclosed in a VHR. Along with stating the number of times a car may have been involved in a collision, the information also indicates what areas of a vehicle suffered damage. By having the car inspected by a reputable mechanic, potential buyers learn the extent of the damage and subsequent repairs performed. In addition, an assessment reveals the quality of the work performed and parts installed. An extensively damaged car and shoddy repair work may render the vehicle unsafe. 

Reveals Other Types of Damage

A vehicle may have sustained damage secondary to a weather event, vandalism or other environmental tragedy. VHRs contain this information and subsequent necessary repairs as well. Caution must be exercised before deciding to purchase any vehicle that has suffered damage from a fire or flooding. The extent of the damage caused may not be readily visible and be the cause of problems down the road. 

Consider Obtaining a VHR

Autocheck and Carfax are the two agencies used for acquiring a car’s VHR. The majority of vehicle retail facilities are more than willing to assist prospective vehicle buyers with obtaining the desired report. The document or documents typically cost $20 or less and remain a worthwhile investment before making a final purchase decision, which could potentially cause frustration, stress and additional costs later.