Used Cars History: Do the Title Check

Odometer & Registration Checks

Essentially, the history of a used car consists of four areas: There is the title check, the odometer check, the problem check and the registration check. You should find out about as many of these areas as possible so that you can be sure that what you are buying is what you think you are buying. By the time you have handed the money over it is often too late.

In the title check, the first area to look at is the salvage car for the car. It is possible to find out whether the car has been involved in a major accident or has ever been registered as a wreck. Some buyers get saddled with these problem cars as the problem wasn't disclosed when they bought it. They can also tell you whether your car is a lemon (that it has been illegally sold to you with extensive damage). It can also find out whether your car has been damaged by flood and has been moved to another state an sold to buyers who aren't suspecting it. There will also be information on whether the car has been rebuilt or reconstructed and is now back on the road.

Odometer rollback fraud can cost you thousands of dollars and when you research the car's history you can normally find potential rollback fraud. Sometimes the odometer has malfunctioned and thus doesn't record the real mileage reading as well. Looking into the car's history can identify a mileage history that may or may not make sense, and if it doesn't then alarm bells should ring.

If the car has been in a major accident then the safety and the resale value of that car can be adversely affected in a big way. Sometimes, insurance companies will classify a car as “totalled”, and these cars may be sold for scrap by the company but then are sometimes sold at an auction to someone who reconstructs the car and puts it back on the road. You can also find out if a vehicle has been on fire – not from an accident report but from the fire department reports that are compiled at the scene. The police will also notify government agencies when an owner has reported their car missing.

Finally, you can find out if the car used to be a lease car – never owned by the driver. You can also find out if it was a rental car – which could have been driven by a lot of people under adverse conditions. You can also find out if the vehicle was ever a taxi – was for hire or was a police vehicle, and you can find out if it was a fleet vehicle – which may not have been looked after so carefully.

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