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How To Uncover Your Car’s Secret History

How To Know Where Your Used Car Has Been Before You Buy

We all desire to get the best deal for our money these days and purchasing a used car can oftentimes be the best way to save cash. Most used cars can be a real bargain since the value of a new vehicle drops dramatically from the moment that it is driven off of the new car lot.

These are just a few of the questions that need to be considered before you commit to that used car purchase to avoid headaches down the road:

• Did the car have regularly scheduled maintenance?
• Was the vehicle ever involved in an automobile accident?
• Is the used vehicle actually a stolen vehicle?
• Has the used car ever experienced a flooding accident?

There are actually several options to insure that the used car you are buying does not possess a sordid past. There are various maneuvers often used by the used car industry that result in short-term memory loss and shady practices such as: title washing, curb stoning and clean titling.

“Title washing” is the term used to describe a car title that where damage details have been miraculously washed from the memory banks of vehicle records. For instance, if the used car was involved in a flood, the title washers would erase any record of flood damage to the vehicle.

“Clean titling” is similar to title washing. As used cars are transported and relocated from state to state, certain details regarding the used car history are removed. The worst possible scenario is that the used car may actually be a stolen car and clean titling it would involve the forging of a vehicle identification number or VIN.

“Curb Stoning” involves taking a junked vehicle and offering the used car as a “private party” sale. Think about those “specials” that are advertised to garner your attention and require you to make a fast decision so that you “don’t miss out” on the one-day special. Many of these specials are in all actuality, curb stoning events.

Take heart because there are several ways in which you can protect yourself. The number one check has been touted on commercials for years and still has the greatest impact, “Show me the Carfax.” Carfax is the leader in researching the used car history. It has been called the Uncover Cop or Private Investigator for the used car industry. Ask to see the Carfax.

Experian is well-known as one of the country’s largest credit investigation bureaus so it also makes sense that they would offer a used car investigation service. Autocheck is the Experian version of a credit checker for used cars.

CarChex allows you to review past damage and accident history as well as the used car inspection history.

Finally, there is the National Insurance Crime Bureau which keeps records of all vehicle thefts and fake VIN numbers. You would definitely benefit from insuring that the used car you are purchasing is not on record with the Crime Bureau who acts like the FBI of the used auto industry.