What is a Vehicle History Report?

Posted by Thursday, 5 June, 2014

A vehicle history report contains a lot of information about a vehicle. It tells a story about where it has been and what sort of major repairs took place during accidents. A vehicle history report is easily obtained from any vehicle and should be one of the first steps in car ownership of a new vehicle.

A national database of information

The National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS)is the premiere database for storing all information related to public vehicle information such as salvage and title history. Each state has its own reporting system for a title to a car. A good way to make a comparison is with the title of a mortgage on a home. That title is reported as a public record for a nominal fee.

Any time there is an accident on a vehicle it is reported to the insurance company. It is then upon the insurance company to report this information to the national database associated with a VIN number.

What is a VIN number? A VIN number is a very specific vehicle identification code that identifies each vehicle. These codes are also used with specific serial numbers to denote differences between the type of vehicle such as a motorcycle or recreational vehicle.

Parts of a vehicle history report

A vehicle history report is not the most complete record of the vehicle. It simply shows a record of all accidents and reports made by the insurance company and the history of where vehicle titles have transferred. Many future car owners will find locations helpful in areas prone to high salt in the winter to determine if the vehicle was susceptible to rust or damage based on its geographic history. It also provides insight into how many owners the vehicle had.

There are several companies that provide information from a history report. One of the most common companies to obtain data from is Carfax. The national federal database for retrieving vehicle information also contain approved providers for scanning VIN numbers and obtaining a report. Each provider requires consumers to enter the vehicle VIN number to scan the listings available to show the report. The listings are the same, but provide different ways to organize and report data. Some are more detailed in providing recommendations and predictions on the functionality of the vehicle.

Vehicle history report applications

Vehicle history report access is not just limited to consumers. Many law enforcement officials and courts can obtain vehicle information via the VIN number for specific legal purposes. These officials have open access to the NMVTIS Law Enforcement Tool for sharing information. Consumers will usually obtain a history report from a provider as part of the car purchasing phase. Consumers who already own their vehicle will obtain a report much like a credit report to make sure nothing has changed. Obtaining a report following an accident can place in check the insurance companies to make sure that information has been reported accurately.

Used vehicles or specialty purpose vehicles such as an RV are just some of the most common types of vehicles that have their VIN number scanned. All states participate in compliance with the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) and have specific fees set for obtaining title information that can be compared against the vehicle history report. Obtaining a title and vehicle information report is the best way to make an informed decision on car ownership or check for any previous incidents.

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