Any time that you purchase a car, whether from a dealer, a friend or family member, or some other third party, you should always check the car title history first. You need to confirm that the title is clean and that the vehicle is not going to give you headaches in the future. You could purchase a car thinking it is in great shape, but it has actually been in several accidents and has been rebuilt a number of times. Here are some tips to understanding and checking your car title history.
What Is A Car Title?
Your car title is an official legal document issued by your state’s Department of Transportation or Department of Motor Vehicles. The document proves that you are the owner of the vehicle. The title contains information about you, the owner, and the vehicle. Your name and address will appear on the title as well as the make, model, mileage, and VIN (vehicle identification number). The VIN must match the VIN that is on the car, which is placed on the car on the dashboard and can be seen through the windshield.
Check The Mileage
A title will include the mileage of a vehicle when it was last purchased. You can compare the mileage on the title to that of the odometer to make sure that the vehicle has not been tampered with. A car that has been driven frequently for the past five years but has only registered 5,000 miles during that time period should send a red flag to anyone looking to purchase it.
Check Title Information
Any vehicle that has been in an accident, damaged by an act of God, or reported stolen will have a designation on its title. States differ in their terms of designation, but these terms can easily be looked up to figure out what has happened to the car in the past. Terms such as “junk,” “salvage,” and more are used to identify that a vehicle may have been damaged by flood, for example.
If a lien has been placed on a vehicle, that information is listed. Owners can use their car title to borrow money. Embassy Loans of Florida, for example, issues car title loans to owners who own their vehicle outright. The loan is based upon the value of the car or truck. Embassy Loans will place a lien on the title until the loan is paid in full. The lien information is found on the title.
Pay For A Review Of Your Car’s History
There a few websites that have access to a wealth of vehicle title information. For a fee, you can search the vehicle and receive its title history in a matter of minutes. This is especially helpful when you are buying used vehicles.