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The Importance Of Vehicle History Reports

Finding a genuine used car can be a tricky task. Even if you locate a car that looks great, drives well and is the right price, there`s still a nagging sense of uncertainty about its history and whether the seller is reputable or not. Thankfully, there`s no need to worry about a vehicle`s past - with a vehicle history report you`ve got the key to its secrets.

Why are vehicle history reports so useful?

According to the RAC, one in three cars it checks has problems that were hidden from the prospective buyer. Sellers may choose to keep information from buyers in an effort to strike the best deal so a vehicle history report can provide reassurance that you`re not buying a car that isn`t roadworthy or has been stolen.

There are many problems to watch out for. For example, many used cars have been `cut and shut` which means two cars have been welded together. This is difficult to spot as many modern cut and shut techniques are sophisticated and may only be apparent to a trained eye.

Even if a car has a full service history and seems to be well maintained that does not guarantee it hasn`t been in a serious accident even written-off. Finding this out before you buy can help you make a judgment about whether or not you want to take on the risk that comes with this type of vehicle.

Vehicle history reports can also tell you whether or not a car is subject to an unpaid finance. If a previous car finance agreement is still outstanding you could take possession of a car that isn`t actually yours to own - and it could be reclaimed, meaning you lose your car and your cash.

What does a vehicle history report tell you?

There are many factors included in a good vehicle history report including:
  • Information about the vehicle`s previous owners.
  • Whether or not the vehicle has been stolen and recovered.
  • Whether finance is outstanding.
  • Whether the car has been written-off.
  • An import/export check to confirm whether the vehicle has been brought into the UK from overseas
  • A mileage check to indicate whether the vehicle has been `clocked`.
  • An assessment of what the vehicle should be worth in today`s market.
  • Police interest, such as whether the vehicle been involved in a crime.
  • Plate transfer data
  • Colour changes

Other factors covered on a comprehensive vehicle history report are: the keeper change date; engine details check; scrapped check; risk alert check; registration date; chassis number/VIN; documentation check. Most companies will also offer some insurance cover or guarantee on data accuracy.

Where can you get a vehicle history report?

There are a number of online vehicle history report companies. According to both and offer a five-star service. However, there are many other options including:

  • HPI check

Prices of vehicle history reports vary and typically range from £3.95-£39.95.

What should learners and new drivers look out for when buying a used car?

As a learner or a newly qualified driver, you`ll be thrilled to be buying your first car. The key is not to rush in to an impulse purchase without doing your research first. If your budget only stretches to used cars, it`s well worth investing in a vehicle history report - that way you can be sure you`re spending your money wisely. It`s also worth considering a vehicle inspection as this can highlight any mechanical problems that may otherwise remain hidden until you take possession of the vehicle.

Remember to compare new driver and learner driver car insurance quotes before you commit to buying, as inexperienced drivers are rated as a high risk by insurance companies and as such premiums tend to be expensive. Buying a used car that has a low insurance group and a small engine should help you to find affordable car insurance

© Anonymous 2008