- Vehicle History Report
A vehicle history report can you help you reveal title problems, ownership history, service points and previous accidents, large or small. These reports can be available from dealers or ordered online. CARFAX offers one of the most comprehensive car reports available to purchase, which is pulled from a database of more than six billion car records.
- Decode the VIN
Checking a VIN decoder chart is a quick, easy, and free way to check a used car’s VIN info matches up with what’s in the vehicle title and records. VIN cloning is a scam where sellers replace the VIN of a stolen car with one that is legally registered. This type of fraud can easily be avoided by decoding the VIN of the vehicle in question.
- The Leak Test
Any car that is leaking fluids is a red flag for a needed repair. While you’re on a test drive, take a moment to park in a clean area on the road, and let the car run for at least 30 seconds. Then, move the car and do a visible inspection for any leaking substances. Black fluid might be an indicator of leaking oil, green fluid may indicate a leak in anti-freeze, and pink fluid may indicate a leak in the transmission.
- Research Price
To ensure that you are being charged a fair price, make sure to compare prices for the same make, model and year with several sources. Checking the Blue Book values and dealer prices can easily be done online. Even though condition and mileage will play a role in price, you can still get a good ballpark figure of the going price.