Your car history report and what you should know

Knowing your car’s previous owner is important and a car history report can help you achieve that.

Since a car history report is data that contains detailed information about the car. It tells who the previous owners of the car were, the accident history, odometer reading, basically all the information concerning the car in its lifetime.

How many owners the car has had would enable you to know if the car would give any trouble. And if there have been any troubles that arise from previous ownership it would enable you to contact the previous owner as well. So this shows how important it is to know your car history report

How and Why should you run a car history report?

It is important for you as a car owner to know your car’s history. Why? The car history report is a detailed compilation of all the information concerning your car’s past. In order words all the details about the car including previous owners, accidents, etc. It is a database of the car. It holds information regarding every detail concerning the car including minor details like getting the oil changed to big details like the new owner of the car.

Having a car history report is a trump card as previous owners that want to sell their car have no choice but, to be honest about matters relating to the car, whether or not the car has any major problem. But just as a car history report comes in handy it could be a problem too. Just as we mentioned earlier your car history report is a detailed compilation of information about your car, so what are those details

  • Your car history report contains the title history of your car. Depending on the lifetime of the car and how it has been used over time there are a lot of different brands that can be useful to a car’s title. For example, if your car has been trashed in an accident the car title will be classified as a salvage title meaning an insurance company acknowledged the car to be a total loss, then rebuilt it, then put it back on the road retitled. Other than an accident intense damage to the car due to a fire, flood, snow, or even hail can have a car’s title rebranded. Excessive use that may cause wear and tear like a car used for public and commercial purposes can also have the car branded.
  • If your car has been in any prior accident then the data is most likely kept recorded in the car history report. The accident history or data of a car is usually collected by an insurance company, law enforcement agencies, repair shop, and motor vehicle department. Accident data can be simple or detailed depending on the extent of the accident. A simple accident data would merely state that there was a collision. While a detailed accident data report would state in detail the damages incurred by the vehicle, the points of damage, and concerning whether or not the airbags were used.
  • The damage history is also another detail that’s recorded in a car history report. The damage history records data on other damages that the car suffered like fire, flood damages, etc. The damage history of the car is important especially fire and flood damages as it affects a car’s sale value. Damages such as these are of serious concern as they can affect the car immensely like the car’s electrical, safety issues, and other concerns that require major repairs.
  • Sales and ownership information is also another data that is inputted into a car history report. This data consists of the first time the car was bought after the manufacture date, as well as every other transaction and transfer of ownership the car went through. A car that has a sole owner tends to have a much higher value, sales price, and sales value than a car having many owners. But in an attempt to hide negative data about the car from the car history report some cars have been bought, sold and branded, or retitled.
  • Another data the car history report holds is the information about service or maintenance history. Some mechanics keep track of every routine maintenance done on the car while others do not keep a track record at all. The car report shows where a car has been service and at what time it was serviced. The service history is helpful as it shows the never of times the car has been serviced or maintained. A car having a service history showing maintenance data is most sought after as it drives a higher bargain for sale price and value.

Periodically, the department of motor vehicle agencies or DVLA in most states sometimes needs a car to pass certain tests and inspections to update and keep a current registration. Tests like emission standards, safety regulations, etc are most at times carried out by government agencies. As we have always said the car history report contains all data about the car, the inspection details of the car are also filled into the report. A vehicle can also get recall notices as regards performance and safety issues, this is a common occurrence. A car history report would show records of when the car has been recalled and whether or not the underlying issues regarding repairs have been resolved. 

Often a car’s odometer reading or mileage data is recorded into the report at several different intervals. The mileage data is oftentimes documented during certain appointments, state inspections, anytime the car changes ownership, and state registrations. If a car’s odometer reading or mileage is lower than the mileage previously recorded in the car history report then it is a huge warning bell. To reduce a car’s mileage to raise a car’s bargain, scammers use a tactic called rolling back the odometer, this is an illegal practice. 

To determine your car’s value is an important reason to check your car history report. There’s no stress or hassle in checking your car history report, it is very easy. All you need to do is just go to an online service provider.  Next, when you are requesting the report, you will need to input your VIN( or vehicle identification number). This is an irreplaceable number as it consists of a string of numbers and characters that is for your car only. Your vehicle identification number or VIN is mostly found on the dashboard at the driver’s side or by the side door post. Other than inside the car, your VIN can also be found in different places like your registration paperwork, your right on the car, etc. 

Checking a car history report is also important before selling or trading your car. We have outlined above the data contained in a car history report, so the new buyer would need to see this too that is why you need to check your car history report to see if the car had any past issues that might have skipped your memory. If you fail to check your report before going in for that big sale, you might be in for a shock to see the record of your car. So the VHR has a big impact on the seeking price and value of your car. 

Other than your car history report there is also some other document you will need when trading your car. Documents like proof of purchase, tax disc, outstanding finance, and section 6 on the V5C. Let’s take a lot at what these documents entail

  • Proof of purchase document- as the name implies this means a receipt, bill of sale, or any other document from which a dealer from the department of motor vehicles or DVLA can decide where the car was bought, whom it was bought from, as well as the sales price for which the car was retailed. When selling a car, you and the buyer would need proof of purchase, most buyers also need the vehicle identification number or VIN of the car. So you can write a receipt that states important details of the car registration number, the make of the car, the model, and the year. This receipt should include your name, your address, as well as the buyer’s name and address, the retail price of the vehicle as well as the date of purchase. You should also make a sales contract as most of the time buyers and sellers would like the have a binding document. But this contract does not bypass the law because a car that is not fit to drive on the road can override the said contract. 
  • Overdue finances and tax disc – Before selling your car you need to make sure that any finance that is yet to be paid should be settled first. Most buyers would not want any outstanding charge on the car so ensure you settle this as soon as possible. If you had any form of extra financing on your car, contact the lender on time and get it sorted out. You need to do this while you still have the V5C certificate as this certificate would be handed to the buyer on the day of sale. You need to report that you have sold your car so you can get a tax refund. Your tax would automatically be refunded as full months of tax paid ahead on the car. 
  • V5C or logbook – The V5C is the most important out of all the documents as it officially establishes the new owner of the car to the DVLA. When making a sale you need to report to the DVLA that the car has been sold using a little slip you will find at the bottom of the V5C. You will need to fill the slip as this is what you will keep after the sale when handing over the V5C certificate. This slip should be handed over to the DVLA so they can update their database as it tells details of the new owner. 

Selling a car takes more than just handing over the keys, the new buyer would require documents that establish ownership, how worthy of the road it is, etc. Ensure you have all the necessary documents ready including your car history report as some buyers would insist on seeing them. And most important, always make a photocopy of your documents, this would save you from any unwanted and unnecessary trouble. A photocopy can also come in handy when a buyer decides to return the car but forgets to bring back the receipts. Other than the DVLA you also need to notify your car insurance about the sale so your car insurance can be cancelled.




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