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Why Should You Get A Vehicle History Report When Selling Your Car? 

Why Should You Get A Vehicle History Report When Selling Your Car 

When it comes to selling your vehicle, you need to have strong negotiating points, and you need to convince the buyer to purchase your vehicle. For this, you will need a vehicle history report.

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The buyer will be looking for the main benefits that he could get out of your vehicle. He will also be interested in learning more information about the overall condition of your car.

He might take your vehicle to his professional mechanic at some point, and before he gets to that point, you need to do your best to convince him move forward with the car selling process.

One of the things that seemed to help improve many car selling negotiation processes is preparing a vehicle history reports. You can help the buyer make up their mind about purchasing your car or walking away by showing this report. 

This article helps you understand how to get a vehicle history report and highlights the main benefits you could gain when attaching this report to the other paperwork during the car selling process. 

  • How to obtain a vehicle history report? 


Since the vehicle history reports have a lot of great information, the question always remains, how can you obtain vehicle history reports?

Well, you have two options: you could either obtain your vehicle history report using the license plate number or using the vehicle identification number or VIN.

The VIN consists of 17 digits, and you will usually find it on the lower left side of your vehicle's windshield. You can also find this number on your vehicle's registration card and any insurance documentation you have. 

Whatever method you decided to go with, you need to remember that you have to pay a certain fee, usually as much as $40 for each report.  

There are some available free vehicle history reports online for certain vehicles. Thus, before you spend on your vehicle's history reports, it's recommended that you go through the available online data and see if you can get a general picture without spending money. 

  • What information does the vehicle history report tell me? 


The vehicle history report provides you with intensive details about what's happened to your vehicle in the past. Here are some of the main information you could find in your vehicle's history report:

  • Who are the previous owners of the vehicle?


The first and most important thing you could get out of your vehicle history reports is the name and uses of previous ownerships.

This important formation gives you an idea about whether the vehicle was used for personal uses or business. Imagine a vehicle used for business versus another used only for personal uses; which one is expected to wear out more? 

  • A list of previous accidents and damages


When a buyer is looking to purchase a vehicle, knowing how many times your car was involved in accidents is vital.

It would help if you were as honest as possible, and you must be clear and upfront about any major damage is in your car. If the buyer sees how honest you are, he will gain more trust in your vehicle's description and purchasing your car. 

  • Title information 


Another important information your vehicle history reports will show is information about the title history. More specifically, it will tell the buyer whether the vehicle has a salvage title or not.

If the car has a salvage title, the buyer cannot drive it legally, and you don't want to scam the buyer and show him that this vehicle is drivable.

The title information can also confirm to the buyer that you are the vehicle's legal owner, which provides an additional layer of trust.

Lastly, title information can also show any lien on the vehicle, which means that it owes them money to a third party. 

Again, understanding whether you are allowed to sell your car or not is vital information the buyer needs to know. If you owe some money on this vehicle, you might not sell it legally. 

  • Information about recall notices 


No one would want to buy a vehicle listed for active recalls. By showing the fire that your car doesn't have any recall notices, he will gain more confidence and buy your vehicle. 

  • Your odometer reading 


Lastly, many buyers feel nervous about getting scammed with a faulty odometer reading. By showing the buyer your vehicle's history reports, he will be more confident about your auto meter reading accuracy.

It's not rare for scammers to change and rollback their auto meter reading to boost their chances of selling the car. 

  • Safety ratings 


The vehicle history reports also include information about safety ratings and will provide you with an overall evaluation of your vehicle's structural and mechanical integrity.

First, your vehicle will receive a rating out of five stars. Usually, one star indicates the lowest rank, and five stars indicate the highest.

In the safety rating, the national motor vehicle title information system looks into the following items to provide your vehicle's overall safety rate:

  • Rollover
  • Rear crash protection
  • Side impact rear crash
  • Side driver
  • Frontal Passenger
  • Frontal driver
  • Side rear passenger
  • Moderate overlap front
  • Head restrain 
  • The market value of your vehicle 


Price negotiation is one of the most challenging parts when it comes to selling a used vehicle. By having your vehicle's history in hand, you can convince the buyer and provide him with some statistics and reputable price guidance.

This way, you don't have to worry about aggressive negotiations, and you don't need to spend a lot of time or effort, convincing your buyer to purchase the vehicle and accept your proposed price. 


Which agencies contribute to your vehicle's history reports? 

Your vehicle's history reports are a comprehensive summary of your vehicle's overall status. Different governmental entities provide information.

For example, here is the list of most common entities contributing to your vehicle's history report:

  • Collision repair facilities 
  • Law enforcement agencies
  • Auto recyclers
  • Auto auctions
  • Car dealerships
  • Salvage yards
  • Manufacturers 
  • Junkyards
  • Insurance companies
  • Government agencies 

Does my vehicle history report tell the entire story? 

The vehicle history report is a great starting point to describe the overall condition of your vehicle.

However, it won't really till the current and existing status of your vehicle today. It is considered very good information that was provided by several insurance companies and police departments.

Some information might lag and take some time before it gets to your vehicle's history report, like recent accidents.

Did you know that it takes a couple of months before a certain incident gets added to your vehicle's history report? 

Therefore, it's very important to be clear with the buyer and have him do extra steps to feel more confident about purchasing your car.

For example, don't mind if your buyer requested to get a vehicle inspection. It would help if you encouraged him to assume that you're confident about your vehicles' overall situation and not hiding any major problems. You can also do your pre-purchase inspection, so you don't get surprised to hear from the buyer's professional mechanic.

Once you have your pre-purchase inspection, you can also judge the buyer's professional mechanic's accuracy and pinpoint anything that doesn't look right to you.

You can also encourage the buyer to take a quick test drive and make sure that the vehicle drives like fine spends fine and terms as it's supposed to do. By having a test drive, the buyer will be confident about the brakes, steering, suspension on all major components of your vehicle. 

How can I check a car's history for free? 

As we mentioned earlier, there are several online tools for you to get your vehicle's history for free.

For example, Carfax is a great tool available online, and it provides free vehicle history for a long list of vehicles.

Similarly, you could also try cars.com or older trader for more information about free vehicles Carfax. 

In some scenarios, some dealerships post Carfax histories about certain vehicles. Thus, visit this dealership and see whether you can obtain history reports for your vehicle through them. 


Selling a used vehicle might sound straightforward; however, there are some challenges you could run into, especially when negotiating the price and convincing the buyer to purchase the car.

To achieve the best out of your car negotiating process, you need to have good documentation that makes the buyer as comfortable as possible about your vehicle.

One of the most important documents that you could have is the vehicle's history report. This report provides a detailed summary and comprehensive overview of your vehicle's condition.

Keep in mind that the vehicle's history report is a good document, but it doesn't provide some recent incidents to the vehicle. Thus, it's recommended that you encourage the buyer to do his inspection and take a quick test drive to the vehicle. 

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