Understanding Vehicle History: Tips for Accessing a Car’s Past Records

When car buyers visit dealerships for used car purchases, they expect to purchase the best used cars available at great prices. They look out for performance, dependability, and overall reliability. Getting a reliable vehicle, however, is not as easy as judging from the vehicle’s looks. To get a reliable vehicle, it is recommended to explore the vehicle history of the car a buyer is interested in. This way, they are sure of their vehicle’s past and overall reliability. In this article, we will discuss what a vehicle history report is, its importance, and how a car buyer can easily get one.

What is a vehicle history report?

A vehicle history report is a concise record of a vehicle’s past. With a vehicle history report, car buyers, sellers, and owners can gain full access to their vehicle’s history and records and make informed decisions during car purchases, sales, and repairs. The information contained in a vehicle history report includes:

  • Accurate vehicle specifications.
  • Vehicle ownership history.
  • Accident history.
  • Damage history.
  • Auction history.
  • Sales history.
  • Market value.
  • Open recalls.
  • Theft records.
  • Vehicle service history.
  • Title records.
  • Maintenance history, and others.

The information provided in a vehicle history report comes in handy during car purchases and repairs and can be used to easily identify potential issues that may incur repair costs in the future.

Why is a vehicle history report important?

Vehicle history reports constantly play an important role in car purchases and significantly act as a guide for car buyers. Without a vehicle history report, unsuspecting customers may be sold defective vehicles by dealers and private sellers and incur repair costs in the future. Some of the benefits of generating a vehicle history report include:

  • Access to full vehicle information and records.
  • Better negotiations.
  • Easy identification of reliable vehicles.
  • The increased sales rate for dealerships.

Access to full vehicle information and records

A vehicle history report provides customers with full access to their vehicle’s specifications, history, and records. Having a document stating facts about your vehicle makes the car-buying process easy. This way, car buyers can identify car scammers when they see one and easily tell when the odometer has been rolled back.

Some vehicle history report providers, such as Detailed Vehicle History, offer lifetime access to vehicle history reports, while others place limits on their subscriptions.

Better negotiations

Did you know that a car with a salvage title is eligible to have its fair market value reduced by 20–40%? A vehicle history report from leading car report companies provides access to title records and other information that could reduce the overall value of a vehicle, such as mileage, damage history, and others. With the information provided by a history report, you may be able to negotiate properly and get a good car at a cheaper price.

Easy identification of reliable vehicles

When a vehicle’s records and history are clearly provided, the chances of purchasing a reliable vehicle increase. As a used car buyer, you must understand that there are going to be lemons and defective vehicles at dealerships, car auctions, and private sales. To avoid buying a lemon, it is important to check a vehicle’s history.

The increased sales rate for dealerships

Vehicle history reports can also play a huge role in increasing sales rates in dealerships. With an application or website providing vehicle history reports for customers, they can swiftly find reliable vehicles, which in turn will build trust between the dealerships and their customers. These customers go on to provide positive reviews and bring in more customers.

Also, these reports provide dealer retail prices to dealerships for accurate listing prices, and this significantly reduces the amount of negotiation required to seal a deal.

How to find a vehicle’s history

There are several online services, government agencies, dealerships, and vehicle history report companies, such as Detailed Vehicle History, Carfax, Autocheck, etc., that provide this service to car buyers, owners, and sellers. To generate a vehicle history report and gain access to your vehicle’s history, follow these steps:

  • Visit the vehicle history report company or online service of your choice.
  • Locate the VIN check tool provided by the company.
  • Enter your 17-character (or less) Vehicle Identification Number.
  • Search your VIN and receive a vehicle history report.

For dealerships interested in offering this service to their customers through websites and applications, the next section explains how.

How to provide vehicle history reports to customers?

Dealerships and other automotive businesses can easily provide vehicle history reports to their customers through their websites and applications with the help of vehicle data APIs provided by Vehicle Databases.

An Application Programming Interface (API) is a set of codes that allows the transfer of information from software to software. A vehicle data API acts as a software bridge between vehicle information and car buyers, owners, or sellers. Before a VIN Decoder API can be successfully used to accurately provide vehicle information, history, and records to customers, it must be integrated with an application or website. Through this website or application, information on vehicles can be easily accessed by customers. Some of the most recommended vehicle data APIs provided by Vehicle Databases are

  • Vehicle history API.
  • Vehicle service history API.
  • Auction history API.
  • Sales history API.
  • Vehicle market value API, and more.

Vehicle History API

If you are interested in providing accurate vehicle information, history, and records to customers, then the vehicle history API is the best tool for your dealership and automotive business. A vehicle history API returns a concise vehicle history report containing accurate historical records of your vehicle from the manufacturer to its current owner. With a vehicle history API integrated into a website or application, consumers can gain access to:

  • Accident history.
  • Damage history.
  • Vehicle specifications.
  • Title records.
  • Ownership history.
  • Sales history.
  • Maintenance history, and more.

To successfully call the vehicle history API through websites and applications, consumers would have to provide their vehicle identification numbers or US license plate numbers.

Vehicle service history API

The car service history API is an application programming interface that gives consumers access to the service history of their vehicles through automotive websites and applications. With the API, dealerships can provide

  • Maintenance records.
  • Repair records for all manufacturers.

For customers to easily gain access to their service history with the car service history API, they must provide their VINs, or year, make, and model information.

Auction History API

With the Vehicle Databases auction history API, dealers can provide the auction history of the vehicles in their inventories to their customers with ease. The Auction History API also returns more than ten photos of vehicle auctions to customers. Integrating this API into your business’s website allows access to the following:

  • Vehicle data and features.
  • Title and condition
  • Technical specifications.
  • Auction date and location.
  • More than ten photos.
  • Listing history.
  • Market value.

Sales history API

Alongside auction history, car buyers also request the sales history of their vehicles, as it helps in negotiating the listing price. With the sales history API provided by Vehicle Databases, dealerships can easily provide the following information to their customers:

  • Vehicle status.
  • Vehicle data.
  • Sales history.
  • Accident records.
  • Title records.
  • Vehicle owner history, and more.

Vehicle market value API

The vehicle market value API returns insights on the real-time market value of vehicles. With the vehicle market value API, customers can access the trade-in, private party, and dealer retail prices of their vehicles based on their vehicles’ condition.

Tips for reviewing a vehicle history report

If you have successfully purchased a vehicle history report from a vehicle history report provider, there are certain details you should pay the most attention to. They are:

  • Accident and damage history.
  • Maintenance and vehicle service history.
  • Title records.
  • Odometer readings.
  • Open recalls.
  • Ownership history.

Accident and damage history

The number of accidents a vehicle was involved in and the extent of damages sustained play a major role in determining the overall reliability of the vehicle. This is one of the most important factors to consider when buying a used vehicle. Try to check if the vehicle has had significant accidents in the past and the resulting damages. Inspect the vehicle to see if the damages were fixed or not before committing to any used car purchase.

Maintenance and vehicle service history

Reviewing the maintenance and vehicle service history of a used car before purchase gives an overview of how well it has been cared for. Check for repair and replacement history and regular maintenance history, such as oil changes and tune-ups. Be sure to inspect your vehicle and be sure that the repairs were properly done and the mechanical components of your vehicle are working properly.

Title Records

Some common titles are salvage titles, flood-damaged titles, and rebuilt titles. The presence of these titles on your vehicle shows that your vehicle may not be safe to drive on the road. Also, cars with clear titles are significantly cheaper than cars with dirty titles. This information helps customers negotiate and get good deals.

Odometer readings

Ever heard of odometer rollback? It is a case where a dealer reduces the odometer reading to reduce the car’s age and increase its value. This is illegal, and customers can easily identify odometer fraud and know their vehicle’s real age with vehicle history reports. Look out for odometer discrepancies and alert the authorities whenever necessary.

Open recalls

An open recall on your vehicle is a sign that the car may be a safety threat. A vehicle recall is a safety issue that is identified after a vehicle has been manufactured and sold to car buyers. To fix this safety issue, vehicles are sent to the manufacturer for free repairs. If you are a car buyer purchasing any used vehicle with open recalls from dealerships or private sellers, make sure that the open recall is addressed and the vehicle is in perfect condition before completing the purchase.

Ownership history

The vehicle owner’s history also helps car buyers in their search for reliable vehicles. If a car has had multiple owners within a short period of time, it is a sign that the vehicle may have a serious mechanical issue that needs to be addressed before purchase.

Overall, obtaining a concise vehicle history report is an important step in the car-buying process. It provides car buyers, owners, and sellers with valuable information and history that guides them in purchasing reliable vehicles. For dealerships looking forward to providing vehicle history reports to their customers, simply visit the Vehicle Databases website to integrate a vehicle history API and other VIN data APIs such as a car service history API, an auction history API, a sales history API, and others. These help in increasing the dealership’s sales rate and giving consumers the opportunity to make informed decisions.

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