Understanding Vehicle History Report
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Understanding Vehicle History Reports

Searching for the perfect car is not easy. Especially if you are looking for the perfect used vehicle, there are lots of things to consider. When you are buying the car, there are lots of questions that pop up in your head. For example, Am I sure that the vehicle is ready to be driven on the fast lane? Or how can I be sure that the car was not previously damaged? Or whether the previous owner was reliable or not. Whether you are buying a second-hand car from a dealership or a private party, it is important to know the past of the vehicle.

We consider it our top priority to look at all every aspect when we are buying a house. It is equally as important to look at all the factors when buying a vehicle. A great starting place for any vehicle shopping is the vehicle history report.

Let’s start with a very basic question.

What Is A Vehicle History Report?

Like hubs of information, vehicle history reports contain information about the vehicle that gives you everything you need to know about your new vehicle. 

A vehicle report comprises a range of information about the vehicle you are thinking of purchasing. From previous owners, open recalls and damages, odometer readings, accidents and repairs, vehicle report histories have everything that you need to make the decision to either buy the car or discard the idea.

A vehicle history report tells you a lot about the car’s past. It includes details of who owned the vehicle and other relevant details. When buying a second-hand car, this information can be used to check whether the car has hidden issues. Vehicle history reports can either be attained through some car dealership and even online. Even though vehicle history reports help you gain useful insight of the vehicle, it is still important that you take the car for a test drive and get it inspected before you actually purchase it from the seller.

If you are selling, vehicle history reports help you get out of the hassles of sale. By providing potential buyers with the car’s previous records, you are easing the concerns regarding the sale and making the procedure easy for the customer as well as yourself.

What Is On The Vehicle History Report?

Vehicle history narrates the previous conditions and handlers of the vehicle you are interested in buying. But keep in mind that they do not tell you about the current situation of the car, however, with all the previous information, you do get a pretty clear idea of the vehicle.

Here is a breakdown of the information about what is present on the vehicle history report:

Salvage Title

Sometimes when a car has been in a serious accident such as a fire, or flood, it gets ‘totaled’ by the insurance company. After a complete inspection, the vehicle, instead of being declared a total loss, is given a ‘salvage title since it might still be driveable. The insurance company alerts all future buyers by issuing the salvage title. Steering clear of all vehicles with salvage titles is a smart decision since it kills the resale value of the car and still might have some hidden problems.


Since serious accidents are reported to the insurance company, they surely appear on the vehicle history report. Sometimes, even minor accidents are listed. So double-check the accidents and the car’s condition before ruling out the vehicle.

Odometer Rollbacks

Vehicle history reports alert you about the odometer rollbacks as well. Shady car lots usually spin the odometer back for increasing the vehicle’s selling price. When buying from a third-party, make sure you double-check the odometer. Sellers rollback to make the vehicle more desirable. Even though this does not happen frequently, make sure that you have your eyes open for any red flags.

Number Of Previous Owners And How It Was Used

There is nothing wrong with hoping that the car you are interested in was previously owned by a nice old lady who seldomly drove the car. But what if was previously a taxi? Or was it a leased car? When you order the vehicle history report, you don’t have to hope or guess, you will know for sure who owned the car previously.

Maintenance Records

Services visits are sometimes listed on the vehicle history reports as well. They represent showing the routine maintenance or repairs done by the mechanic. Maintenance records are usually listed only when the car is serviced at a car dealership rather than through an independent garage.


We like to think that all regions are as car-safe, but truth be told, not every location is ideal for vehicles. In areas where snowfall and snowstorms are frequent, or costal areas can take a toll on vehicles. Salty and sandy air in coastal areas proves to be harmful for the exterior paints of the car as well as the undercarriage of the car. There are various other hazards for the car’s exterior as well as the interior. So make sure that you keep a keen eye out for the previous locations of the car.

Recall Information

Recall information is another useful source of information that is listed on vehicle history reports. However, it can also be checked via the internet.

How 500 Below Cars Help

If you are unsure of how to get vehicle history reports or need to have further information on what these are, 500 Below Cars are one call away! Give us a call, we are happy to help!

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