Every used car buyer needs to run a VIN check before purchasing a pre-owned vehicle. Whether you are buying directly from a reputable dealer, a neighbor down the block or from someone you found on Craig's List, the most important step in the buying process is getting a complete vehicle history report on the car you are considering.
Millions of used cars have very serious issues that you might not be able to discover before you buy them. Even if you are buying from a dealer, and have a skilled mechanic check it out, there STILL could be a major problem that you won't find out about until it's too late!
Using VIN numbers you can quickly and easily check out any used vehicle you are considering, and find out the full story. A VIN Check gives you all the details you need to decide whether the car is a cream puff or a lemon. Was it in an accident? Did someone roll back the odometer? Was it ever used as a fleet vehicle? Any water or fire damage?
Now the question we have been asked thousands of times over our 20 year history is: Is there such thing as a free vehicle history report? Unfortunately the short answer to that question is: NO. You can't get all of the information you need on a used car for free.You can however get some very useful information, which is why technically someone can offer a free VIN check and not be lying to you.
Ready for your report? You've come to the right place. You can start by entering the Vehicle Identification Number of the first car you want to check in the box provided below. From there you will be taken to the leading provider of used car reports, where you can get a full analysis of the car including year, make, model, trim, safety features, mileage, ownership, DMV records, and the problems shown below:
Your vehicle could have the following problems:
- Major Accident
- Odometer Tampering
- Stolen Vehicle
- Police Use
- Fire or Hail Damage
- Multiple Owners and more...
So what's the deal with the free VIN Check report anyway?
Basically this is just a misnomer. We'll give you a brief overview of the VIN check so you can see for yourself why people think that they are getting a full history of a used car for free.
When you submit your Vehicle Identification Number, whether it is to Autocheck, Carfax or any of the other databases, you do in fact receive some free information on the car you're looking at. This includes the make, the model, the year, the trim and sometimes some additional vehicle specific information like the restraint system.
Now you might think that these things are obvious, but that's not always the case. If you're buying a car from a stranger they might tell you that it's a 2014 when it's actually a 2013. Or they may tell you it's the top of the line model when it fact it's a base model. So that information will be very useful to you. Is it a free vehicle history report? Sort of. But it's not ALL of the information you need. The odometer reading, the accident information, the fire damage, the number of owners...that kind of data you do have to pay for. It's never going to be free from anywhere, so you can stop looking for a free VIN check...it doesn't exist despite what some web sites might tell you.
The good news is that vehicle history reports are getting cheaper and cheaper as there is more competition. They used to cost up to $49.99 for just one report. Now you can get unlimited reports for less than that. And remember, don't just choose the cheapest report you can find. Only a handful of companies, including the one we partner with, have comprehensive databases with millions of records from the DMV, auction houses and other major entities. So if a site is offering you a report for $4.99, be wary. It probably is not as complete as it should be. And of any data is missing from your VIN Number check, that can cause you serious problems down the road!
So to sum up, there is no such thing as a completely free vehicle history report...only some of the data is available to you at no cost. The whole story you have to pay for. But isn't it worth it to avoid a car that could cost you thousands of dollars to repair? We think so!