Before you purchase a used car from a dealer, a friend, or someone that you've come across on the Internet, you'll need to take the time to seek out a free car title check to be sure that the vehicle you are purchasing has a clean history and won't cause you too many problems in the future. Even if you've already taken the car for a test run, and the person who is selling it to you is willing to offer a fantastic deal, it's your responsibility to make sure that everything is above board by looking up the title online and ensuring the history that you have been provided with is legitimate.

Here, we'll cover what you need to keep in mind when you get a free car title check.

The Certificate:

The first thing to think about is whether you understand what a car title actually is. In simple terms, it's an official document of ownership that is given to the owner of a car by the Department of Motor Vehicles. This title should provide plenty of information about the history of a vehicle to its new owner, and the certificate will also include a vehicle identification number, or VIN, that is unique to your vehicle. When you're checking out your car's title, it's crucial to be sure that the VIN number on the history for the car matches the number that is printed on a strip in the engine compartment, on the dashboard, or on the door jamb towards the driver's side of the car.

Investigate Hidden Damage:

If the used car you are thinking about buying looks to be in great condition, it may be a shock to find out that it has actually undergone a serious number of repairs in the past. Obtaining a free car title check can reveal whether the car in question has had a lot of mechanical trouble that has had to be managed by a garage owner, or whether it has been damaged for any other reason, such as a natural disaster or a crash.

While you are looking for hidden damage, you should also be able to find out whether the car in question has ever been involved in fraud, or reported as stolen. There should also be a report involved that provides information about emissions testing and changes to the title. Try not to ignore any warning signs that might show up about the history of the car, as you don't want to get yourself into trouble for the sake of a good deal.

Compare The Mileage:

Finally, remember that the car title history should also include information about the mileage of the car when it was last sold. You'll be able to compare this number with the number that is on the odometer, and this should give you at least some insight into whether the indicator has been tampered with. Some malicious sellers may mess with the indicator to make it seem as though the car had traveled a lesser number of miles than it actually had.