Check the VIN Number before You Buy a Used Car

May 8th, 2014 by

MUL_MY14_0004_V001Before you buy a used car, you should check the vehicle identification number or VIN number first, especially if you’re buying from an individual. The VIN is the identification number given to each vehicle by the manufacturer. Checking it will help you learn a lot about the vehicle you’re thinking about buying.

For example, when you check this number, you can learn how many people have owned the car, when it was inspected, if it was ever involved in a bad accident and if it’s ever sustained water damage. You can also learn if the vehicle was reported stolen or if the odometer was rolled back to make it appear to have less miles than it really does. All of this information is important to know before you buy a used car.

Why this Information Is So Important

It’s obvious that you wouldn’t want to buy a stolen vehicle but that’s not the only reason you need to check the VIN number before you buy a used car. Knowing the history of a car can help you make a good decision that’ll you’ll be happy with for a long time. It will help protect you from wasting money on a lemon that could break down shortly after you purchase it.

When you check the VIN number and find out that the vehicle has sustained water damage or been involved in a bad accident, then you know to avoid buying it. In either of these cases, the odds of it lasting more than a few months without major work are very slim. For this reason, knowing the history of the vehicle will help you make an informed decision because you’ll know if investing in the vehicle is a good idea and if the asking price is fair.

There are several free and paid services available such as CarFax where you can check the VIN number on the car you’re considering purchasing. It only takes a few minutes to check, so don’t skip this step when you’re buying from an individual or used car lot.

You Do Have an Alternative

If you don’t have the time or you simply would rather not research the VIN number on a used car, there is an alternative. You can buy from a credible dealership. Toyota dealerships in Miami have a reputation to uphold. They can’t afford to sell used cars that have a bad history. In addition, each vehicle will be serviced from one end to the other to make sure they meet a certain standard before they’ll be released for sale.

Many Toyota dealers even offer limited warranties with these used cars, which show they believe the vehicles to be reliable. Therefore, if you don’t want to deal with checking the VIN number, purchase your used vehicle from a reputable dealership.

Checking the VIN number before you buy a used car can help you feel confident that you’re making the right choice. You can see for yourself what kind of history the vehicle has, so you can make an informed decision about whether you’re getting a good deal or not. You’ll have access to information the seller may not disclose and it can help ensure you buy the right vehicle for your needs.

Posted in Car Buying