When it comes to looking through a vehicle’s history revealed by a free license plate search, there are several things that you should look for. How many owners has the car had? If you’re comparing one vehicle to another, the fewer owners the better. Has the car had routine maintenance? If not, you could be looking at a lowered fuel economy. Has the vehicle ever been involved in a major accident? Were repairs made? If the damage sustained during an accident wasn’t major, having an accident or two in a vehicle’s history isn’t a big deal. But if it looks like the owner’s insurance should be through the roof because of all of the accidents, or if the damage was ever major, you may want to keep shopping.
Other things that you might find in a vehicle’s history report will be immediate red flags. Was the vehicle ever issued a junking, rebuilt or salvage title? Does the owner have any liens on the car? Does the odometer on the car show a mileage that is well below what the records say it should be? Do you suspect that the VIN could be a clone? If you answered yes to any of these questions, it’s probably time to look for a different used car.