Get The Lowdown On Free Vehicle History Reports

You are shopping for a used car, and you know a motor vehicle report should be a part of the shopping process. But you don’t want to spend money on a report that may not give you the information you need to make a sound decision about the car you like. What about a free vehicle VIN check report that doesn’t require any sort of investment from you?

The good news is there are vehicle history reports free of charge that will provide you with accurate information about the car you like. The bad news is those reports may not give you the whole picture of the car in a single convenient report. Does that mean you should ditch the free vehicle history report in favor of another option?

Not necessarily. The free vehicle history report can provide valuable information about a car you want to buy, including the vehicle title history and whether the car has ever been reported stolen. In some cases, the information is verified through local police reports, so it can be highly accurate. 

Still, you may be feeling like something is missing – and you just might be right. Getting vehicle history reports free may give you valuable information about a car, but it won’t give you all the information you need. To collect all the facts, you may need to pay for additional information found in a different motor vehicle report.

Sources of Vehicle History Reports Free

If you want to get information about a vehicle without spending a dime of your hard-earned money, the Department of Motor Vehicle is the place to start. This government office typically provides vehicle title information that will let you know how many owners a car has clocked. That’s valuable fodder for your negotiations, since multiple owners often indicate the car has a persistent problem, or it hasn’t had the TLC it deserves throughout its relatively short existence.

You can also head to the National Insurance Crime Bureau for another free vehicle history report. This organization will let you know if the vehicle you like has ever been reported stolen, but not recovered. It will also tell you if the car has ever been reported as a salvage vehicle. This organization allows you to conduct five free searches in a 24-hour period, making it perfect for those in the market for their next family roadster or muscle car to impress the female population.

The Problem with a Free Vehicle History Report

Unfortunately, while both of these vehicle history credit reports free of charge offer you valuable information, they don’t give you everything you need to know about a car before you buy it. Sure, it’s great to know how many times the car has passed hands or whether it’s ever been on the black market. But what about accidents and damage from weather? What about that odometer that looks so promising? Is it real?   

For the kind of information you need to make a really sound decision about a vehicle purchase, you will need to dig a little deeper. And this might mean digging deeper into your pockets, spending a few dollars for an additional motor vehicle report that reveals all the facts you need about that hot looking car you just checked out. The good news is it probably won’t cost you much (some reports cost less than $5), and the better news is you can find everything you need right on your computer or tablet in a snap.

Getting All the Facts

When you combine a free vehicle history report with a second report, you can rest assured you are getting the most comprehensive, accurate history on a vehicle possible. When you get ready to open your wallet, make sure you choose a company approved by the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) to ensure the information you receive on your report is accurate. The NMVTIS is the only organization in the country that represents 88% of all DMV information today.

In addition to information directly provided by NMVTIS, independent companies might offer information about a car’s servicing schedule, insurance claims and an overall evaluation of the vehicle. Some companies even offer a comparison rating to rank this car with other used vehicles of similar age and make. These companies may offer a much more comprehensive motor vehicle report, which when combined with free reports from reputable sources, provide the most complete picture of a used vehicle.

A carfax free report is a great place to start.  Then, combine that information with other data to make you the savviest used car shopper in town.