Buying a car is a major investment. Even a used vehicle could easily cost five figures before you factor in financing costs, licensing and insurance. Although you will pay substantially less for a used vehicle as compared to a brand new vehicle, there are a few risks associated with a used vehicle purchase.
One of the most significant is the possibility of purchasing a vehicle that is unsafe because of its prior use or overpaying for a vehicle because you can’t reasonably estimate its condition or value. Some people seek to avoid these risks by purchasing a used vehicle report detailing the title history of the vehicle.
Is a vehicle history report a fail-safe way to avoid purchasing an unsafe used vehicle?
A vehicle history report can show major issues
Knowing how many people previously owned the vehicle helps you make an informed decision about whether to buy the vehicle and how much to pay for it. Knowing the approximate mileage put on it over the course of its history is also valuable.
Perhaps the most important thing you can get from a vehicle history report is information about collisions or other major damage to a vehicle, such as fire damage. A vehicle history report will show you if an insurance company has previously declared the vehicle a total loss, leading to someone rebuilding the vehicle.
All that information can help you make an informed decision. It could also help you take action against a dealership if they misrepresented a vehicle that you bought from them. Buying a report before purchasing a vehicle could protect you. Buying one to confirm misconduct by a salesperson could spur you into action.
Used car salespeople should be honest with consumers
Selling used vehicles is a job with substantial social stigma attached, and for good reason. There are absolutely salespeople who will blatantly lie to consumers to try to trick them into an unfavorable transaction.
There are salespeople at dealerships that will make cosmetic repairs to hide major vehicle defects. There are others that might even misrepresent the condition of the vehicle in advertising copy or on the paperwork for the purchase. If a vehicle report exposes those lies, it could help you take legal action.
Showing that the dealership did not disclose historical issues with the vehicle to you could give you grounds to bring a fraud claim against the salesperson or dealership that sold you a vehicle with a major issue in its history.