Car History Check

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Car History Check and Car Financing

Buying second-hand cars have been a top choice for those who are looking to own a car at a lesser price. However, this should be done with caution. Every hour, hundreds of cars are being sold to car dealers and as the number of cars in the market increases, so does the number of people eager to purchase them. Given this, you need to do your homework and find out more information about the car dealer as well as the car you wish to purchase.

Considering the number of car dealers out there, there is no certainty that you’re dealing with a trustworthy, honest, and reliable ones. Some would even provide you with dishonest information about the cars they are dealing and you just can’t gamble with that.

To ensure that the car you are interested in is of good quality, you need to check its history. This way, you can guarantee that the car you want to purchase is legitimate.

What is a Car History Check

It is a process designed to show you important information about a vehicle available in the market. It presents relevant information that can help you decide whether the car is worth buying or not. This process can be time-consuming, considering that you are going to browse for a number of documents, do visual car checks, as well as hiring a mechanic to inspect the car.

How to do a Car History Check

A car history check is more than just paperwork or documents—it involves more. Here are the main points not to miss:


When buying a second-hand vehicle, you must be wondering about its previous owner—that’s a good thing. Of course, you wouldn’t want to own a car that has been stolen or was used in a crime before, right? As such, checking the car’s ownership, particularly if it’s legally owned is a must. For example, if a car was stolen and you bought it, it can be repossessed by the previous owner and that would be an unfortunate turn of events. Thus, it is imperative that you carefully read the full report on the vehicle’s ownership before you buy.

In checking the car’s ownership, you can use its Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to research its history and make an informed decision about purchasing.

Service History

A car’s service history is another important check you need to make. A second-hand car with a good service history is an indication that the car has been properly taken care of and that it was well-maintained by the previous owner. Otherwise, you might face hefty repair fees more quickly than you anticipated.

Moreover, a car’s service history can provide you with information on whether the car was involved in any serious accidents or suffered severe damage. Cars that have been involved in accidents are also worth less than cars that haven’t. The catch is that if you want to sell it in the future, you’ll also have to sell it for less money.

Checking a car’s service history can also be done online.

Finance History

Don’t forget to check the car’s finance history. By doing so, you can determine if there are any unpaid debts that the seller failed to declare. In any event that the seller failed to settle the debts, you are most likely to inherit the finance issues. Nobody wants that to happen as it would be an added an expense, and stress, that you shouldn't be worried about.

Having said this, never overlook any of the car’s financial documents. The Personal Property Securities Register offers a website where you can check a car’s finance history using its Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) or chassis number.

Odometer Reading

An odometer is an instrument that records the distance that a car travels. It is considered a standard for all vehicles. It will help you to determine the car’s mileage, which is another indicator whether the car is still in good condition. The lower the mileage, the better.

The tampering of an odometer is prohibited by the law, though there are some sellers who do it just to sell their cars right away. Tampering the odometer gives the appearance that a car has been driven less frequently, so chances of breakdowns and repairs are fewer than they actually are. Examine the odometer for crooked, widely spaced or misaligned numbers as closely as possible. If the mileage of the used car is way too low for the car’s age or its original parts, then there’s a strong chance that the odometer has been tampered with.

To ensure that the odometer reading is legitimate, have it inspected by a licensed motor vehicle mechanic.

Your Rights

If you are considering purchasing a second-hand vehicle, you need to understand your rights as a consumer. Here are a few important considerations that you need to remember before buying a used car:

Car History Check Warranty

Before closing a deal on a car, you should understand the vehicles warranty. A dealership takes care of recall repairs for free, but it’s important that you know about open recalls—so you’re aware of any danger when operating the vehicle.

In terms of warranties, there is no universal rule. For instance in Australia, according to the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), buying a dealership-used car below 10 years old—and with less than 160 000km on the odometer reading—should give you a three month or 5000 km statutory warranty. This is applicable in Northern Territory, New South Wales, Queensland, and Victoria.

On the other hand, for cars older than 10 years or have travelled more than 160 000km, a warranty is not applicable in the aforementioned states, except Queensland.

To know more about the car’s warranty, you can visit the Consumer Affairs Page. You can also use the car’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to check if the vehicle is still under warranty.

Cooling-Off Period

A cooling-off period is generally described as a safeguard designed to give consumers the opportunity to change their minds about a purchase or agreement they have made. So, when you purchase a used car a second-hand car in Australia, particularly in in the ACT and Victoria, you are entitled to a three day cooling-off period.

On the other hand, used cars purchased in NSW are allowed a one day cooling-off period if you arrange credit with the dealer.

To know more about the cooling-off period when buying a car from a dealer, check out the Consumer Action Page.

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