U.S. Students: Before Buying a Car, Check Its History
Roughly half of all college students own vehicles, according to recent US statistics. Buying a car is an important step towards adulthood, and it must be taken seriously. A car, even a used one, is a symbol of independence. Most of us can’t wait to get a license and begin driving on our own, right?
It is not easy to decide. Rookies let excitement cloud their judgment, especially when they try to save money. The most attractive deals, especially for second-hand vehicles, often have a catch. So, how should you choose a car? Here is what experts say.
What Licence Plate Can Tell You
Any car has a license plate and it can actually reveal a lot about its past. If the seller is hiding something, a quick check will make the issues come to light. Such things as accidents can downgrade the value of a second-hand car, often greatly.
Would you pay for a vehicle that is likely to break down in a month? What if it has been stolen? Look up the license plate and see if the car actually belongs to the seller.
Surely, you can visit your local DMV, but why bother when the result can be received immediately? Today, we do everything online. Besides, if you send someone else to the office, they will need written permission.
With the identifier at hand, head to a website that provides the check. Alternatively, you could use the car’s VIN and receive a wealth of information, including the license plate number. Here is a brief guide to help you.
When Are License Plate Numbers Changed?
Everywhere in the U.S., car owners have to receive license plates from their state DMV. This happens upon registration, and afterward - the validity period depends on the state. The numbers are also changed if theft or loss occurs. Owners may wish to get their own special number just to show off. Any such changes must be approved by the DMV. In its records, the VIN number and the license plate number are always connected.
Will I See the Owner’s Name?
I hate to disappoint you. No, you will not see the owner’s name in the report. In our country, it is illegal. Only law enforcement officials have the authority to conduct such checks. Any websites that try to lure you in with such services are fraudulent.
A VIN lookup or license plate check shows information collected by the government. The report will reveal any recorded damage, however small. Aside from accidents, it includes quite a few valuable facts and figures:
- Vehicle Specifications
- Reported Odometer Readings
- Recalls & Defects
- Lien & Repossession Records
- Mileage Rollback
- Theft & Recovery Records
- Flood, Hail and Fire Damage
- Personal, Taxi or Police Use
As you can see, the report is guaranteed to be detailed. The service is possible thanks to the Freedom of Information Act and other laws. Any U.S. citizen is entitled to free access when it comes to such data. After all, the entities that collect it exist on taxpayers’ money.
John Green is an expert in license plate owner lookup who writes about cars with gusto! John is an experienced journalist who has been working for online media since 2010.