If you are buying a used car it is absolutely necessary to look up VIN number, if you don’t want to regret your purchase. The best way to lookup VIN number is to use a reputable online vehicle history report provider like CARFAX or AutoCheck. There are many other sites that offer full vehicle history reports. However, these two are long established brands trusted by millions of car buyers who need to look up VIN numbers. And which is most important, they provide buyback guarantee on their reports. This means they they oblige to buy the vehicle from you if it turns out that it had a problem title which was not listed in the report. The buyback guarantee may cost you a few extra dollars but it’s noting in comparison with he the thousands you can lose buying a lemon or a totaled vehicle.
Yes, most vehicle history report providers offer free VIN lookup option. However, it will only show how many records they have in their database on your VIN and probably the basic info like make, model, year of manufacturing, etc. This information can also be obtained for free by VIN decoding procedure because the information encoded in the VIN remains unchanged for the vehicle’s lifetime. However, even with this limited VIN lookup option you can track down a problem car. For this, you need to have the copies of the vehicles documents and take notes of all the seller tells you about the car and all the answers to your questions. If there are mismatches with the basic info or the free VIN lookup shows, say, 10 records while the seller is telling that the car is new, wasn’t used, no emission inspections etc, that may be a warning sign. Another way to look up VIN is to try and get the information on a VIN at a local DMV. if you try to run VIN lookup at DMV site you’ll be redirected to the one of the above mentioned VIN lookup sites.
Another aspect many used car buyers forget of is to lookup the right VIN number. Failing to do so may result in getting report on a wrong vehicle or getting the message that the VIN is invalid or was not found in the database. That is why the best way to get the VIN is to copy it from the vehicle to make sure there are no mistakes.