How to get a car history check before buying a car

Sep 17, 2019 | Same topic: Best advice for car buyers
There are handy tips to get a car history check. This is super important when you plan to buy a used car, in particular. Let's check out and prepare yourself.

Buying a car is a very exciting experience especially for first-time, soon-to-be car owners. However, no matter how elated you must be with this great achievement in your life, you may want to calm yourself down first. Sometimes, being over-excited leads buyers to potentially ignore the slight details that they should be paying attention to.

check car history

Buying a car is a very exciting experience especially for first-time, soon-to-be car owners

You may be overwhelmed with the opportunity of finally getting the vehicle that you’ve always dreamed of. You found a seller, you arranged a talk, you inspected the vehicle and you even discussed the payment terms, but don’t you think you’re forgetting something? That’s right - a history check!

1. What is a Vehicle History Check?

A vehicle history is the compendium of potentially essential information regarding a particular vehicle. This is usually comprised of records that will help you gauge whether the car being offered to you is something that you would really want to invest in.

The most important info supplied by a typical vehicle history check is verifying that your supposed transaction is legitimate and that the vehicle is indeed in good working condition.

A vehicle history

A vehicle history is the compendium of potentially essential information regarding a particular vehicle

>>> Read more: 7 must-know things to consider before buying a used car.

2. Something you should know

Even though a vehicle history check seems terribly important, it’s not really easy-breezy to get one. A thorough vehicle history check is a very time-consuming process that will require effort and a bit more money from you.

checking car history online

Even though a vehicle history check seems terribly important, it’s not really easy-breezy to get one

For starters, you would have to read through documents and sift through the information that may affect your car-buying decision. You will also need to travel to do on-site car checks, hire a mechanic for a more thorough inspection and accomplish verifications from the Land Transportation Office.

If you don’t think you have the time and extra resources to pursue an in-depth vehicle history check, you may not be up for the challenge. However, if you’re decisive and are dedicated to getting that vehicle’s history checked out, go ahead and read on this article from Philkotse.com!

3. How to perform a Vehicle History Check

The very first step to a successful vehicle history check is by viewing the actual car regardless of whether you first spotted it at an online forum or on the sidewalk. A visual inspection is very important because you don’t only get to see the real unit but you also get to see the things that may be important to you but wasn’t listed by the seller in his ad.

Actual car check

The very first step to a successful vehicle history check is by viewing the actual car

A good example is if you have really long legs and you want to know if you’ll be able to sit comfortably at the driver’s seat. The seller may not be able to give you a sure response but only when you visit the car will you know the answer.

A seller will most likely highlight the positive features of his merchandise because his main priority would be to sell it. Seeing the car yourself will inform you of every detail about it whether it be positive or negative. You can also consult the help of a professional mechanic so you have the opinion of an expert on checking these signs:

If the vehicle was damaged by a natural disaster (flood, fire, etc.,) or man-made events

Check the exterior of the vehicle if there are signs of damage caused by accidents. These could be fresh paintwork, an uneven surface, and even door gaps. The key idea here is that anything that doesn’t look like the rest of the car may be a replacement due to an accident.

>>> Check out: How to do a used car check like a real dealer.

Man checking the car exterior

Check the exterior of the vehicle if there are signs of damage caused by accidents

If the vehicle’s odometer is left untouched or not

Every driver probably out there must know what the odometer is for and what it tells you – the miles the car traveled. Some sellers who want their car sold as soon as possible or at a much higher price try to boost the price by reversing the odometer so it looks like the car was used less frequently.

This gives the impression that the possibility of breaking down or replacing parts is less likely.

Inspect the gas pedals, floor mats and brake pedals for signs of damage

Take a close look at the mats under the driver’s side as well as the pedals. If the odometer shows low mileage but the pads and mats look worn out, the odometer may have been tampered with.

gas and brake pedal of the car

Take a close look at the mats under the driver’s side as well as the pedals

Check if the vehicle was stolen

One of the infamous ways that crooks get victims nowadays is by selling used cars to unsuspecting people. This is why it’s important for you to verify if the vehicle is legitimately owned or has falsified documents backing it up.

If you accidentally bought a carnapped vehicle, you may be accused of carnapping or the owner could get his vehicle back from you and you would lose your money to the crooks who sold you the car.

One way to verify the ownership of the vehicle is by securing an anti-carnapping clearance from. Securing this form is highly advised by the PHP Highway Patrol Group to prevent wasting your time and money on fraudulent transactions.

The anti-carnapping clearance form lets the authorities apply a particular chemical to a certain part of the vehicle to see if the engine and chassis have been tampered with.

stolen car

One of the infamous ways that crooks get victims nowadays is by selling used cars to unsuspecting people

LTO verification

A much easier, less-hassle free way of verifying if a vehicle's plate number has a bad record is by utilizing the LTO’s mobile query facility. This provides the public with the chance for their inquiries to be answered with just a push of a button. To check whether the vehicle is a carnapped or stolen unit, type in the following details in your mobile phone:

Step 1. Type in LTO VEHICLE PLATE NUMBER

Step 2. Send to 2600

Example: LTO VEHICLE ABC123

The message below will be an example of what you can receive after sending a message with valid info:

Plate no: ABC123/ Make: Toyota / Model: Corolla / Year: 1997 / Color: Black / Registered last 02/04/2008, has no LTO apprehension, has no LTO alarm. P2.50/text.

Despite LTO’s innovation with their services, there have still been complaints saying that they have gotten the same message above for vehicles that were apparently stolen.

Source: Hanna Miel Sanchez