Understanding Your Vehicles History Report

When you buy a pre-owned car, naturally you want to give it a thorough test drive on the roads of Rochester, Canandaigua, and Geneva and have a mechanic go over it to look for potential issues with the engine, body, and inner workings. There can, however, be hidden problems that an examination won’t detect, and if you’re not prepared going in, you can end up with major issues down the road.

One of the most important things you can do before buying a used car is to get hold of a vehicle history report on it. This report will show you the full range of any issues, accidents and more from the time the car rolled off the showroom floor to the moment you’re reading it. It’s an invaluable tool in protecting your investment. Learn what to look for in a vehicle history report, the things that can affect your car’s future performance, and where to go for trustworthy service.

What to Look for in a Vehicle History Report

If you’re wondering what to look for in a vehicle history report, you need to go beyond the obvious. The first thing most people search, for example, is prior accidents and mechanical problems. There are other issues you need to keep an eye out for, however, which can be indicators of potential serious problems.

Things that should jump out include many prior owners, recent emissions test results, where it was owned, and long-term maintenance. Each of these is important to ensuring your car will be a trustworthy companion for years to come.

Many Prior Owners

Check to see how often the car has changed hands. A car is a significant purchase, to state the obvious. Why would you spend thousands of dollars on it, just to let it go in a year or two? If there are three or four people who have bought and sold the car within a year or two, that’s a definite red flag that the vehicle could be a problem. In the industry, that’s known as a hot potato vehicle.

Recent Emissions Tests

Emissions standards are getting more stringent every year, and for good reason, as we try to undo a lot of the damage we’ve done to our environment. Still, if you’re reviewing a vehicle report on your potential buy and you notice that it hasn’t recently passed an emissions test, it’s a problem. Though dealers aren’t legally able to sell such cars, a lot of private sale vehicles are unable to pass these tests.

Where Was the Car Owned?

Cars that were owned in coastal regions or particularly wet climates can turn up a lot of issues. Cars that are from regions with a lot of snow and consequently get exposed to salt can have hidden problems related to rot in the undercarriage. Some history reports will flag such vehicles, but others won’t.

Long-Term Maintenance

Has the car’s ongoing maintenance been kept going? If it’s been ignored, it’s a source of concern. Keeping up with maintenance is essential to making sure the car runs just like new for decades to come.

Get a Fair Deal at Friendly Ford

The best way to ensure that you’re getting a car in good shape to keep going is to work with a reputable dealership like Friendly Ford. If you’re in the Geneva, Canandaigua, or Rochester areas, we will set you up with a pre-owned vehicle that will run like new for years, and our expert technicians will be there to help you keep it going. Give us a call or stop into our showroom today!