A vehicle history report provides detailed information on the past use, ownership, and repair of a vehicle. A typical vehicle history report details information on accidents, odometer fraud, theft, manufacturer recalls, and advisories. This is not an official document issued by the government but rather an organized compilation of data from several sources including public records, insurance carriers, and automotive associations. Vehicle history reports are usually purchased online or at local businesses that specialize in them. They can be sourced to provide useful information about cars both old and new.
How long does it take to get one?
It takes approximately 5 minutes to receive your free VIN check results if you choose this option directly on our site. However, it may take longer than 5 minutes if you wish to receive a full vehicle history report. Upon completion of your information, you will see that there are many options to choose from when receiving your VIN check results. You can choose to receive them instantly or if you want more detail on the past use, ownership and repair history of the car, then select this option so you can receive all the information in one complete package. Click here for a free revs check.
What is on a Vehicle History Report?
There are different levels of information on these reports. Generally, the same sources are used across most automotive reporting agencies that may be biased or not meet each individual state’s official guidelines. As technology is always changing, you can usually expect at least the following information:
- Title information (Salvaged/Rebuilt)
- Year (When it was registered)
- Make (Manufacturer of the car)
- Model (Car Model – within parameters set by your state for private vehicle reporting agencies)
- Odometer Reading Mileage whenever the vehicle changes owners
- Vehicle Use (personal/fleet/current etc.)
- Any major damage
- Claims against insurance
- Major Repairs Since the purchase
- Ownership history
- Identity theft if any
- Market Value Registration status
- Warranty / Goodwilling in case of a lemon law
- Status of the vehicle (What’s the current status?)
- Registration history Lien information (if any)
A Salvaged Vehicle has been damaged so badly that the cost to repair it exceeded or equals 75% of its pre-damage market value. The term “salvage” may indicate that a car was repaired and resold but many states don’t allow this practice anymore as all salvage titles must now go through an established auction process. That’s why most states now use the terms Salvage Rebuilt or Reconstructed.
An odometer is an instrument/device that records the distance traveled by a vehicle as it runs. This information can be displayed through your car’s digital speedometer for example. The US Federal Law requires all automobiles to have their mileage recorded at the time of their first sale. In some cases, reported mileage may differ from the actual mileage due to test drives during market research, early production date, and other special instances.
It records where the vehicle came from and when to whom it was sold or transferred. It includes information on past owners such as names, addresses, and phone numbers. This is crucial for insurance purposes in case of theft or a hit-and-run accident where you need to report the damage to your insurance company.
Vehicles have a legal obligation to correct any defects that can compromise their safety or even render them inoperable. These may include faulty airbags, brakes malfunctions, and steering problems. Manufacturers are required by law to notify car owners about these defects through mail or email but sometimes they forget or fail to do so hence why this feature has become so important in the automotive world.
These defects are usually classified under 3 different categories: Uncorrected – meaning that your vehicle is affected but still has not been fixed. Repaired – Your car was affected by the issue and has since been repaired. Rejected – meaning that there was an issue with your vehicle, it was brought to the dealership/repair shop but they deemed it unsafe to be on public roads which resulted in the rejection of all claims until it is made safe for use.
Vehicles such as used Motorcycles, ATVs, and dirt bikes do not provide this service since their purpose is typically recreational.
When Do You Need a Vehicle History Report?
Used cars always come with a risk – you may buy something that’s been in an accident before. Sometimes, fraudulent dealership salesmen will try to hide the history of a used car so they can give it to you at a lower price or put their own report suggesting everything is perfectly fine. This way, they can sell it to you for more money and make a bigger profit. They might also do this if your state requires sellers to disclose major damages prior to selling it.
In other cases, those who are buying from private owners need vehicle history reports too since those who have owned the vehicle before may not tell you certain information about it such as accidents involving the past owner(s), theft details, and lien records (if it was repossessed or sold to them under finance).
How Much is a Vehicle History Report?
The price of vehicle history reports is usually under $40 when ordering directly from the website. This enables you to get access for up to three years as some companies also offer a dated report which you can extend for up to five years. In addition, some states may require vehicle history reports from private sellers in order to protect their citizens.
So if you are ever thinking of buying a used car, or if there’s one for sale that you are interested in it, simply get a report beforehand and save yourself the hassle. You can buy them online using your credit card in around 10 minutes’ time. There are several websites providing vehicle history reports so check their ratings and take your pick.