No matter how much research or shopping around you do, purchasing a used vehicle always feels like a gamble. If you’re currently in the market for a pre-owned vehicle, there are several factors you definitely need to consider, such as previous maintenance, accidents and more. Sure, you will get some of this information from whomever is coordinating the sale – be it the previous owner or a third-party dealership – but it’s also important to dig deeper than what they are telling you. They are, after all, trying to make a sale, so they may omit any information they think might deter you from making the purchase.
That being said, it’s always a good idea to do a little homework on your own. A great way to gather hard facts about a vehicle’s past is to request a vehicle history report from a reputable organization. The National Motor Vehicle Title Information System provides consumers with a list of approved providers, to help ensure they only get 100% accurate information on the vehicle in question.
However, running a vehicle history report is not enough to ensure you don’t get stuck with a clunker. You also have to understand the data the report is giving you. In an effort to spread awareness, DMW.org provides a free sample report on their website to help people become more familiar with the format. If you feel like you still need some help analyzing the information, read on for some tips on what to look for when you have a vehicle history report done on a potential purchase.