Obtaining a Car History Report and How to Read One

Before all of the great technological advancements that people have access today, buying a used car was a lot more complicated. Since the history of the vehicle was not readily available, most people could only go by what the car salesman or the previous owner said. So, if certain problems were not honestly disclosed at the sale, cars that look great on the outside could be on the verge on breaking down within minutes of driving them off the lot. This is one of the main reasons why most buyer would try their best to avoid purchasing a vehicle that was referred to as a ‘lemon’.

Thankfully, with advancements in technology and the Internet, there is more information available that can assist buyers with making a better informed choice with these sales. Particularly, because buyers can obtain a car history report that will provide the information that is needed in advance before signing on the dotted line. With that being said, before buying a used car, there are some essential things that each car shopper should know. Two of the most important are covered in the following sections.

How to Obtain a Car History

Fortunately, obtaining a car history online is a very simple process to initiate and complete. This is because there are popular sites online that provide this information to potential buyers. For example, if you want to obtain a car history for a vehicle that you are considering as a new purchase, you will have the option of securing the information that is needed from companies like CarFax, Autocheck and others.

Typically, each of these companies provide the services needed, however, there are pros and cons to selecting one for your search. For instance, dissimilar from other sites Car Fax can be relatively expensive, but the information that is supplied to the car buyer is well worth it in the long run. Particularly, because the services that they supply will include a wide range of data including maintenance records, how many times a vehicles has been taken for repairs and when, accident dates, as well as other issues that may concern someone who is interested in buying that specific vehicle. Also, due to the type of data that Car fax provides to the consumer, they can be considered as the prime place to go because of their gold standards.

How to Read Car History Reports

After the information that the person needs has been secured, the next step in the process is learning how to read the car history so that it makes sense to the average person. Because not all service providers car history reports are not the same, it is important that everyone knows how to interpret what they are getting. For instance, some reports are very clear to read and easy to interpret, there are other reports that can be quite confusing. Therefore, it may take a little extra time and effort in understanding what is being supplied to the reader. Either way, there are some common areas that people are usually looking for in a car history, and they are listed as follows.

– Title History Information

 The title history gives a brief overview of the owner or previous owners of the vehicle. It will also give potential buyers the history, as it relates to whether the title is salvaged or flooded. Or, if there are any liens on the vehicle that needs to be disclosed, the title is the best place to find this type of data.

– Odometer Readings

Car shoppers should also know the real odometer readings on the vehicle so that no one can illegally turn back the odometer to artificially push up the dollar value of the car. With the information supplied in Car history reports, past ownerships and odometer readings can help potential buyers to avoid these types of unscrupulous tactics.


Obtaining a car history is much easier today, since buyers can look for company sites like Car Fax to find a copy of the history of the car that they are interested in buying. These histories can be very instrumental in help a potential buyer make the best decision possible. Once the buyer finds the car history that they are searching for the next step is learning how to read them. For some reports, the information may be clear to the average person, while others may require a little extra to analyze what they are saying.