Vehicle History Report

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People Phone License Plate VIN
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People Phone License Plate VIN

How To Get a Vehicle History Report

A vehicle history report (or VIN check) is an invaluable tool if you are planning on buying or selling a vehicle. As a buyer, you can use a vehicle history report to give you peace of mind that the vehicle you are thinking of purchasing is in good condition. On the other hand, if you are selling a vehicle then a clean history report can help entice potential buyers.

vehicle history report

How to Obtain a Vehicle History Report

You can obtain both free and paid VIN lookups. Free vehicle records will typically include less information than paid ones, but they may be sufficient depending on what information you need. The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) offers a free VinCheck. As with a complete vehicle history report, you will need to provide your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) when using VinCheck. You can also only make up to five searches within a 24-hour period and certain vehicle records may take up to six months to be updated with VinCheck.

Alternatively, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) offers a more limited history report. The NHTSA’s search tool is useful mainly if you want to see if your vehicle or any of its parts have been recalled.

Third-party databases, including SearchQuarry.com, also offer both free and paid VIN lookups. The paid records offered through third-party companies tend to be the most complete. The National Motor Vehicle Title Information System provides a list of approved providers of vehicle information and history data. Note that some approved providers will only provide records to car dealers and not directly to consumers.

What is Included in a Vehicle History Report

Not all vehicle history reports will include the same information, but in general you can expect your VIN report to include some or all of the following:

  • Accident history
  • Previous owners
  • Liens held against the vehicle
  • Recalls
  • Flood damage
  • Title checks
  • History of airbag deployments
  • Maintenance record
  • Problems with the odometer
  • Records of theft

Note that not all VIN checks will include the same type of information. A record from the NICB, for example, is designed to prevent the exchange of stolen vehicles, so it’s great if you want to make sure that the car in question wasn’t reported stolen. On the other hand, it won’t include much information about that vehicle’s maintenance history.

Vehicle Records from the DMV

Most DMV’s don’t provide vehicle history records. However, many do provide vehicle registration and title abstracts, which contain much of the same information that you would find in a history report. In New York, for example, the registration abstract includes some useful history information, such as parking fines and insurance lapses. A title record abstract, meanwhile, will include information about previous owners of the vehicle.

License Plate and VIN Search

In many cases, looking up a car’s VIN is simply about peace of mind. Every car built after 1980 has its own VIN, which is unique to that vehicle. You can find the VIN on the dashboard on the driver’s side and next to the latch in the driver’s door frame. Remember that the VIN, unlike a license plate, does not change even if you change the car’s registration from one state to another. That’s why conducting a VIN search can typically provide more information than a simple license plate search will provide. However, searching for a license plate number is also a useful way for finding out the VIN associated with a particular plate number.

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17 responses to “Vehicle History Report

  1. Both I and my wife had bought a car some lashes Volkswagen. Year 2013 Volkswagen Jetta SE and we see that there was something mentioned about. Possible Title Liens Reported. We don’t quite understand exactly what that means but it seems a little shaky to us would like to know more information about this car if you could please help us thank you!

    1. Typically a title lien means that a bank or other financial institution has a lien on the vehicle and there might have been a loan taken out on the vehicle that hasn’t been paid back. This is unfortunately something we cannot lookup for you. Your best bet is to contact the DMV in your area and inquire about the potential Vehicle Title Lien.

      That being said if you have the title to the Volkswagen and there is no lien holder listed then you might be in the clear. You might still want to follow up with the DMV in case a secondary loan was taken out on the equity on the vehicle.

  2. We do appreciate the time that you take to read this and respond to us at your earliest convenience it is a really big concern for both me and my wife thank you.

    1. What information are you looking for that you did not find in the vehicle history report? Please let us know how we can further assist you

  3. My 2004 expedition Eddie Bauer.. 5.4 it run for 50 miles and then it quits. It stop running while driving. I can figure out what the problem is. Can you help?

    1. You might check the fuel filter and battery and alternator to start. There are many possibilities as to why your vehicle quits on you but unfortunately it is not our expertise. This is really a question for a mechanic as we only provide vehicle history records and not maintenance records.

  4. Former army freind lied about not possesing my mustang. I was serving overseas upon my return I flew to Ohio to get it. Her husband & her made story about it. Found out recently online she still has it. Would like history of my 1968 mustang.

    1. That’s an unfortunate turn of events and we’re sorry to hear that a friend has taken advantage of you. Check out our VIN Decoder where you can get a vehicle history report online. This should give you the vehicle history information you’re looking for.

    1. Typically a vehicle history report will not include mileage reports unless there is a previous transfer of title. That is the only time we notice the mileage records being recorded. You can use our VIN Decoder below and see what information is available. If you don’t find what you’re looking for then you’ll want to check with the DMV for that specific vehicle history report information.

      Vehicle VIN Decoder – Click Here To Get a Vehicle History Report Online

    1. Our vehicle report resources will only work for vehicle with 17 digits. You might consider contacting your local DMV office about this matter. A Vehicle History Report can reveal a lot about a vehicle. There is probably a long vehicle history for the Cadillac you mentioned since it’s over 50 years old.

  5. Your system does not work for vehicles that was made before the new vin system came out. Older have a shorter vin number than new cars.

Author: SQAdmin
Last Updated: February 9, 2018

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