Vehicle History Report Introduction

Each vehicle sold in the US is identified by a unique number commonly called as the Vehicle Identification Number or the VIN. You can find this number in the vehicle title or under the car windshield of the Driver Side corner. There are additional places where manufacturers place VIN including the Driver’s door and the door frame area. Sometimes also under the hood cover and the trunk cover as well.

        Each time a vehicle is sold, purchased, transferred and been in an accident involving insurance or the law enforcement, the VIN along with other information like ODO meter reading, color, condition etc is noted by the collecting agencies. Sometimes the dealers also collect this information on events like dealer service , major repairs or accident repairs etc. Vehicle History Report providers buy this information from these agencies and compile a 'history' of the vehicle. Car buyers who are serious about a car, can purchase this information from these vehicle history providers for a small amount.     

 How to order a Vehicle History Report :

         All you need to order a history report is the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) of the car you are going to buy. For a used car history reports you can visit the site of CARFAX or Autocheck. You can pay them online; they accept major Credit cards. The CARFAX Vehicle History Report™ also includes Safety and Reliability Ratings, Warranty Information and Consumer Ratings and Comments for a model you order the report.

        First, if you wish to check if there are any records available, at CARFAX it's free. It shows you how many records available for the VIN number you enter. If you want to see those records, you need to pay and purchase the CARFAX history report.

        Autocheck is also another provider for Vehicle History. Autocheck is more geared towards dealers and car enthusiasts. If you are first time buyer you will find the detailed reports on CARFAX to be pretty useful. CARFAX tends to do better when it comes to verifying mileage and whether a vehicle has been maintained by a fleet company or a dealership and is usually better in showing how many owners a vehicle had. But both reports are accurate as far as major events like accidents are considered.

        Autocheck offers a more comprehensive listing of vehicles with frame damage due to their relationship with dealer-only auto auctions.

        Please note that Vehicle History by itself is not the FINAL Golden Words. If the used car history report doesn't show anything negative, it doesn't  mean that the car is one hundred percent perfect. Not all accidents are reported. Issues like rust, substandard repairs, and undercarriage damage is never reported. That's why it is recommended to have the vehicle professionally inspected [see link] before buying it.


         You can refer to the used car history records as a first step before buying a used car. The used car history report can't give you a 100-percent guarantee that the car is perfect, but when you about to spend thousands of dollars on a used car, it is worth to pay for a history report that could give you some information about the car's past. Here are few examples of the information you may find in a used car history report:


        The car was totaled in an accident or if it was salvaged.

        Flood damage

        Odometer rollbacks or other problems with odometer.

        Lemon or Factory Defect histories

        Junked Titles

        State emissions inspection results

        Lien activity

        Vehicle usage (taxi, rental, lease, etc.)

        Sometimes CARFAX will also have if available, service and repair history


        The history report is able to point out issues that a professional inspection may not be able to easily figure out. So when buying a used car, it is worth to check the used car history as a first step and then have a car inspected by a professional or dealer.[See Link]


        Sample report

        Sample fragment of a real CARFAX® Vehicle History Report™.


        This article also answers: -

        1.) How to find if the car has clean history?

        2.) How to find if the car has a clean Title?

        2.) What is Vehicle History?

        3.) What is CARFAX?

        4.) What is AUTOCHECK?

        5.) What is a used car history report ?

        6.) Where is the car VIN number ?

        7.) How to find if a car has been in an accident ?