One of the great things about the Internet is how it has enabled the sharing and discovering of important information before making a purchase. From product reviews to product history, consumers are able to easily understand the exact value and condition of each thing they purchase online and off. That is especially true of automobiles, which can now have their history checked online before any sale is completed with a private buyer. And, while it might sound excessive or paranoid to some buyers, the truth is that some vehicle buyers are less than honest and are looking to overcharge for their car and offload its problems, history, or outstanding loan, to the next buyer without their consent.

Getting car data checks ensures that a used vehicle is exactly what it was said to be in the initial advertisement. It eliminates months of unpleasant surprises, heavy spending on repairs or legal proceedings, and a number of other stress-inducing procedures that no car buyer should ever have to endure when in pursuit of a new ride.

What Do Car Data Checks Guard Against?

There are a number of things that some private used car sellers can use to deceive buyers when they advertise their vehicle. These things actually increase the value of the vehicle, earning the seller a bigger profit while actually costing the buyer a significant amount of money over the course of their ownership. One of the most common things that is altered when a vehicle is offered by sale by a private seller is the car's actual mileage. As anyone knows, higher mileage almost always equates to lower resale prices for both private sellers and dealers. If this number can be artificially lowered, it raises the value of the vehicle while also making it appear as if the engine has significantly less wear and tear.

Mileage, as well as information about maintenance and any accidents, is tied to the car's VIN number. This number followed the vehicle for the entire life of the car, and it is used by qualified mechanics to enter basic information about anything from the number of miles on the odometer to the original colour of the car itself.

Another thing that these car data checks can reveal is whether or not the vehicle is currently financed, and how much money remains on any vehicle loan that was taken out at the time of the vehicle's purchase. That's a pretty important piece of information, especially since some sellers will try to offload the vehicle and renege on their monthly loan payments. Buyers who secure a vehicle without knowing whether or not it is still being financed can sometimes be held accountable for those monthly payments, and they can lose the vehicle if they fail to make them. Don't trust a seller when it comes to a vehicle's financing. A car data check will reveal the truth.

Finally, car data checks are a great way to see the vehicle's ownership history. This will indicate how many people have actually owned and driven the vehicle since it left the dealer's lot, and that can have a significant impact on both the vehicle's value and its maintenance concerns after the purchase has been completed. Less owners typically indicates a better vehicle with a more consistent record of maintenance, and it eliminates a great deal of uncertainty at the time of purchase. A single owner can also attest to the vehicle's quality and all of its quirks or issues, whereas buying from one in a long series of owners may eliminate this familiarity with all of the car's benefits and disadvantages.

Avoiding the Dud: How Car Data Checks Can Help

A vehicle is considered a "dud" if it requires frequent and costly maintenance immediately after it has been driven off a dealer's lot when sold as new. It is pretty easy to spot a dud when conducting a car data check online. Because the vehicle's VIN number will reveal things like accidents, major maintenance, and other services performed by a mechanic, it will be easy to see whether or not basic functions and equipment contained within the vehicle are failing -- and doing so regularly. There are certainly maintenance issues that will arise with age universally, but an excessive number of repairs and replacements indicates that the vehicle might just be too big of a hassle for the average buyer to maintain.

Any vehicle with excessive maintenance entries tied to its VIN number should at least be taken to a mechanic before it is purchased, preferably at the seller's expense, if there is any at all. It should be thoroughly inspected to ensure that any lagging issues are fixed, and that it will arrive in the buyer's hands as a vehicle with high integrity and great performance. If these things cannot be provided for by the seller, or if the vehicle is deemed a risk by an independent mechanic, then it's worth listening to the car data check's report and avoiding the car altogether.

Peace of Mind Comes from Car Data Checks

Buying a car without a car data check is essentially the same thing as gambling. A car's financial history, maintenance history, and accident history, are all turned into guesses and assumptions rather than facts and hard evidence. That can be expensive after the sale has closed, with regular maintenance turning into an ongoing expense and banks turning into nightmarish nemeses.

When purchasing a used car, be sure that its price tag matches its reputation, and be sure that no nasty surprises are waiting just a few weeks after the sale is over. Perform a car data check and get to know a vehicle before owning it.