Historical analysis helps determine a car’s value. Whether you’re buying or selling a used car, understanding its history is essential to getting the best price and knowing what costs are involved in caring for the used cars in sacramento.
How to research the history of a used car
Make a checklist of the vehicle’s problems
For example, check the safety inspections, inspect the air conditioning system and oil changes. Follow the car’s maintenance recommendations to determine how well it has been cared for by its previous owners. Additionally, research online to determine what your state’s laws are regarding car inspections and emissions testing.
Use the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles website to search for the car’s title history
You can usually find this information at the motor vehicle department website. It may be available through a paid service or searchable online for a small fee. When you purchase this from the state, it includes an accident report in its history if it was reported to the DMV.
Look for a copy of the previous title
In some cases, you may be able to find a copy of the title at your state’s DMV website. You can search for it by entering the VIN twice and searching for the name of the car’s previous owner. Often, this information is only available if someone has purchased it from the state, though. This can lead to paying a fee for little value in return when researching a used car’s history.
Search for a CarFax
Carfax offers free vehicle history reports that provide you with everything you need to know regarding a used car’s maintenance history, registration and accidents. You’ll need the VIN of the car you want to research to retrieve this information. This can be purchased from your state’s DMV or directly from Carfax.
Check for any other evidence of a title
If the car has a current title and was sold in your state, it should have evidence that the buyer paid taxes or license fees for the vehicle. You can find this information either in your state’s DMV website or by searching its database of title transactions. It should also list any liens on the car, such as unpaid parking tickets or unpaid tow fees, and show if there are any outstanding mechanics’ liens against it.