Jun 25 , 2020

16 Red Flags to Look Out for When Buying a Used Car

Mechanic diagnoses car, writing costings, annual vehicle inspection, close up

Why Do You Need a Vehicle History Report?

Almost like a lifetime report card or a scrapbook of events big and small, a vehicle history report details a used car’s past. Why is it so important? If consumers know about a car’s accidents, repairs, title history and more, they can make a more informed buying decision. Of course it’s important to be smart when buying a car, since it’s such a big purchase.

The key to a vehicle history report is a car’s vehicle identification number (VIN). “The 17-digit VIN is like the car’s Social Security number,” according to Edmunds, an online car resource. “It’s used to note nearly every major event in a vehicle’s lifetime.” The two major companies that provide vehicle history reports are Carfax and Autocheck. The cost for each ranges from $25 to $100, although Edmunds says most major used-car dealers and some sites will provide a free report.

No matter how you come by your vehicle history report, you need to pay attention to it. Don’t be swayed by a seller’s enthusiasm or a low price tag. Instead, look for the following red flags to make sure the car is as great as it seems to be. Here’s how to outsmart a car salesman.

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