How to Get Vehicle History Reports

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What is a Vehicle History Report?

A vehicle history report is also referred to as a VIN check, car history report or used car report. This detailed document is designed to provide new and potential owners with information on the history of their vehicle. Some of the information provided in vehicle history reports include:

  • Information on past vehicle owners
  • Any past liens on the vehicle
  • Vehicle title history
  • Accident history
  • Any previous flood damage reports
  • Faulty odometer readings
  • Airbag deployments
  • Car title check
  • and more!

Before you can obtain a vehicle history report you must provide the Vehicle Identification Number or VIN.

How Do I Find My VIN?

If you are interested in obtaining a vehicle history report, you’ll first need to locate the VIN for the vehicle in question. To locate your VIN, you can check in a few different places on your vehicle, including under the hood of the front engine, the driver side of the dash, the driver side door jam and in the trunk under the spare tire.

Do I Need a Vehicle History Report If I’m Buying a Car?

Most often a vehicle history report is important when you are either buying or selling a car. Requesting a vehicle history report before purchasing a car is great for preventing any discrepancies and giving you peace of mind about your new car.

Do I Need a Vehicle History Report If I’m Selling a Car?

Vehicle history reports also come in handy when selling a car. You can easily provide the information to potential buyers and be upfront about any hidden problems in a vehicle’s past. Without a VIN number report, buyers may be less likely to put their trust in an independent seller.

Can I Get a Free Vehicle History Report?

If you are interested in a very basic form of a vehicle history report that only lists information on customer complaints, recalls, etc. there are a wide variety of companies that offer what they call a “free” vehicle history report. These free versions are often referred to as:

  • Free VIN checks
  • Free VIN number search
  • Free VIN Decoder
  • Free VIN Number Checks
  • Free vehicle history reports

However, if you are interested in obtaining the most detailed information on a vehicle before you buy or before you begin the selling process, you will have to pay a fee to access a detailed vehicle history report. These detailed reports are as easy to fill out as other similar DMV forms and include information on accident history, previous owners, flood damage, airbag deployment and much more.