Purchasing a used car can be a challenge for many people. There are so many things that need to be checked and so many factors to take into consideration. When shopping for a car, most people think about the size of the vehicle, the fuel consumption, the miles per gallon, and the extra amenities they can get but there are lots of other things to consider as well. One of the most important things you'll have to do before you put your money on the table is to research your car title. While a title search will not reveal all there is to know about a vehicle, the things you can learn by searching the title can reveal a lot to help you decide if the vehicle will be a worthwhile investment.
How To Do A Title Search:
One of the first things you'll need to know to start your title search is the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) of the vehicle. This is a 17-digit alphanumeric number that is unique to that specific car. One of the first places you'll look for the VIN will be on the car's insurance policy. If someone is actually using the car, then legally it must be insured.
You can also find the VIN on the car itself. It is usually found on the car's registration card or the sticker, which is located on the front windshield on the driver's side. If you can't find the number there, then there are several other places where the number is located. You may need to search for it but you will need to be patient because you need to have the VIN before you can research your car title.
Finding A Car Title Search Provider:
Once you have the VIN, you can look for a car title search provider. In the US, there is a government based title search service that keeps a history of all vehicles through an online database. Visit the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System at www.vehiclehistory.gov for help in finding a provider near you.
It's important to understand that these are not free services, so find a site that has a reputation for being trustworthy. In order to get the information you need, you'll have to provide them with some of your personal information so make sure that you're not giving away private records to someone who might take advantage of you. Once you've found the right provider, simply follow through with the instructions they give you to complete the title search and you're done.
Knowing how to research your car title is a major step in purchasing a used vehicle. It can also prove invaluable to you if you have already purchased a car and want to know what has happened to it over the years. It is the first step in shopping smartly and it will definitely save you loads of money in the end. Purchasing a used vehicle can be a long and complicated process and there are so many details to consider. At least when you have a vehicle history report and a clean title, you'll know exactly what you're getting.