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Do This Before Buying a Used Vehicle (Checklist)

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He said it was his easiest used vehicle theft verification he has ever had, super easy and very time efficient. “The Mexican car shopper was very impressed with the PremiumVIN VIN check tool, and we have been too!” – Fahad Iqbal, CEO & Founder.

Before buying a used car, it’s important to perform a VIN Check on the car. A vehicle history search can tell you if a car cannot be repossessed by the insurance, has been reported written-off, has any records of theft and if it’s recovered or maybe has any safety recalls like the Takata airbag recall. A VIN Check at premiumVIN costs $25 and provides important information to help car shoppers protect themselves and make an informed decision about whether to buy a used vehicle or not.

The Stolen Car Case Study

A Mexican found a used 2020 Toyota Highlander listed on the internet that he is interested in buying. In his search to find a service that could assist him to check if the car had any issues, he found premiumVIN site and tried to provide the requirements: the VIN of the car, his email and phone number (for customer support). After paying a little token, the report came out that the vehicle was stolen in the USA a few days ago and has found its way into Mexico. 

At this time, he asked the seller about the issue and he was told that the truck had permission to be in Mexico. The seller proved this by sending him a sheet that established that the truck had no problems and already had a Mexican license plate. However, in the end, the Mexican decided not to buy the used Toyota car because of the theft record that was reported in our vehicle history report, thanks to the PremiumVIN lookup tool. The customer now knows how important it is to use the premiumVIN site before buying a used car.

Avoid Buying a Stolen Vehicle by Using PremiumVIN VIN Check Tool

A PremiumVIN report contains information from a number of data sources, including the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) and other stolen motor vehicle databases. If the Mexican had not run a VIN Check first, he would have ended up buying a stolen vehicle and to make matters worse, might face legal prosecution if the police traced the stolen vehicle to him. He would have lost several thousands of dollars, in the car and faced legal consequences. Fortunately, the PremiumVIN report came in handy by helping him to make the right decision, thus, prevented from regretting his actions.

The Things You Should Know About Stolen Vehicles

  1. Before buying a used car, run a used car VIN search. However, it is best to check twice – once when you have found the car that interests you, and again on the day you finally decide to buy it from the seller. This will ensure nothing has changed since you last checked.
  2. If the vehicle history report shows the car is stolen, you are advised not to confront the seller directly. You have to inform the police immediately and just tell the seller that you have changed your mind about the car.
  3. Sometimes, some cars may be incorrectly recorded as stolen from the database. The PremiumVIN report will definitely contain information about where and when the car was reported stolen. You should take your time to contact the concerned state authority for more information.
  4. Please note that you may decide or not to contact the police. In case you do, all you need is to provide the police with a copy of the PremiumVIN report and the seller’s contact information. If you think that the car shouldn’t be reported as stolen, you can contact the police for further investigation. Of course, the information in the vehicle history report will help with the police investigation.
  5. If you end up buying a stolen car, be certain that you are not likely to get your money back because it might be very difficult to locate the seller again. Besides, the police will confiscate the car and the car will likely be returned to the actual owner. If there is an insurance claim on the car, it’s likely to be returned to the insurance company that paid the claim.

Finally, if a seller says they have lost the vehicle paperwork or cannot provide any other proof of ownership of the car, it is best to walk off from the deal so as to protect yourself and definitely your money. For recently stolen vehicles, it may take some time to update these vehicle databases, usually after proper investigation by the police.

Hence, theft records for these vehicles may not yet appear on PremiumVIN reports, so it’s better to watch out for other red flags like VIN tampering/mismatching, the inability of the seller to provide the vehicle documents, uneven painting or suspicious scratches in some sensitive parts of the car, etc.

Picture of Adewale Peter

Adewale Peter

Peter, a versatile writer specializing in automotive content, has thrived as Premium VIN's brand journalist. With over 8 years of experience, he has excelled in creating engaging, reader-centric content, including book formatting and making slides. He is very passionate about researching and curating inspiring and informative blogs and articles. He enjoys meeting individuals who have what it takes to challenge him to continuously improve and give his best.

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