What is a Car History Check?

  • Dec 27th, 2020
  • 4 min read

Buying a used car may be an exciting process. But there are some dangers and risks that the buyer may not be aware of. Used car buyers can get a car with mileage fraud or hidden problems. Some of it may be exposed via an online car history check.

The value of a particular vehicle depends on the history of that car. History shows the records the vehicle has been through. It is like the medical records of each person.

Car history reports may lower the chance of risks while buying a used vehicle. With a handful of critical information just a VIN number and a few clicks away the buyers can get a clearer look at the car they have an interest in.

Car history checks may provide advantages for negotiation processes or even change the buyer’s decision to avoid possible problems.

What data car history check provides

Each car history report consists of valuable information about a particular car. From general details, maintenance, and insurance history to actual pictures and mileage records. Every car history report provides the following details:

  • Details and drawbacks
  • Stolen database check
  • Accidents history
  • Previous facts of the sale
  • Mileage history
  • Actual photos
  • General car information

It is common that unfair car dealers usually sell vehicles that have been severely damaged in the past. It is very important to ensure that all the damages were carried out in a proper way. Accidents history, as well as pictures, often provide information about every crash the car has been on.

Every car is checked in various countries’ stolen vehicle databases. Governmental registries and institutions are also a source of data. A significant amount of important information comes from the service history. Various workshops and dealerships are amongst the places where the particular car was serviced.

Previous facts of sale may also unveil some suspicions. The value of the car is a critical factor. If a car was on sale for a fraction of the current price, it may be obvious that something was not right.

How car history report data is aggregated

A car history report is a product made up out of various streams of data. Information is collected from a wide variety of sources. That includes insurance companies, car services, official dealerships, government institutions, and state police.

However, collecting everything in one place is a challenging task. For the beginning, units may vary. For example, if the car is imported from the USA to Europe there may be issues with the odometer readings. Miles have to be converted to kilometers.

Also, the data collected from car services, insurance companies, or government officials may contain critical information. But it can be troublesome to read, too. This chaotic data in car history reports are aggregated in a clever and very systematic way. It is important that that is easy to understand.

All the content of the history of a particular car is segmented into categories. The events are stacked chronologically in the table rows that are easy to read or understand. The table of mileage, for example, shows the date of the odometer readings check, the country where the event took place, exact mileage readings, and the type of event (why the odometer readings were checked).

Difference car history check vs VIN decoder

The main difference between the car history report and VIN decoder is in the amount of data. Free VIN decoders provide general information about a particular car alone. Where the car history report contains facts and records from past ownerships.

The comparison shows the difference between a car history report and a VIN decoder.

The information available via VIN decoder:

  • Make, model
  • Body type, number of doors
  • Production/model year
  • Engine capacity, power, code and fuel type
  • Transmission and drivetrain type
  • Destination market
  • List of equipment

The information available via car history report:

  • Recalls and drawbacks
  • A stolen cars database check
  • Accidents history
  • Previous facts of the sale
  • Mileage history
  • Actual photos
  • General car information (available via VIN decoder)

The VIN decoder contains data that is just a small fraction of the online car history report. Most valuable information for used car buyers is deep in the history of each specific car. That can only be accessed by a car history report.

In conclusion

Unlike the VIN decoder, a car history report can influence the price of the car. It can bring the negotiation advantage to the buyer’s side if the car had heavy damage or mileage frauds. The car could even become unusable if it is on the stolen vehicles database. Alternatively, if the car is in pristine condition, the owner or seller may use the history report to justify the steeper price.