In the car sale ad, all the details are not always written. For example, it may turn out that the car was in a serious accident, worked in a taxi, etc. In order not to buy such a vehicle, you need to check it in all possible databases.
Cars are primarily identified by VIN or body number. Sometimes a check can be done from home if the number is listed in the ad. Free services provide information on one or more verification parameters.
Paid services collect all the data in one report including the DMV registration status and supplement it with useful details provided by commercial companies. For example, recall campaigns of official dealers or old advertisements for the sale of a car with photos and descriptions.
When Can a VIN Be Useful?
Aside from looking for vehicle history, a VIN code can be necessary in the below cases:
- Picking up spare parts
Sellers recommend and some even insist on indicating the VIN when ordering spare parts. With its help, managers find out the modification of the car and minimize the likelihood of errors when selecting spares. In addition, VIN may help in the independent selection of spare parts according to the manufacturer’s original catalog.
- Find out the type of engine and gearbox
Not all the services can cope with this task – there is a risk of making a serious mistake and buying the wrong part. Therefore, it is better to trust the selection of spare parts for the engine and gearbox to the specialists of the store or service station.
- Check for restrictions
Restrictions can be imposed on the car causing arrest or a ban on registration actions. This can be done by the court, the local authorities, the traffic police, the customs, etc. Therefore, such cars are given cheaply to dealers who can easily find a naive person who is ready to buy a car at a cheap price.
In order not to get into such a situation, it is important to find out information about restrictions by VIN. Moreover, it is necessary to check not only the car itself but also the owner – after all, the restrictions may not yet come into force. The car can also be pledged. This happens if the loan for it has not yet been paid in full.
- Check for theft
If you buy a car that is on the wanted list, then it will most likely be confiscated and sent to the impound. A car can be put on the wanted list if the owner left the scene of an accident, or the car was stolen. Professional hijackers are unlikely to openly sell such a car, but still, it is worth checking it by VIN and making sure everything is clear.
An experienced buyer will carefully check each car by VIN and will always ask for additional information in order to protect oneself and weed out suspicious options. So, don’t hesitate to ask and check the VIN before the car purchase – it will save you from disappointment.