PennsylvaniaDriversLicenses.org Articles

Vehicle History Report

A look at a vehicle's past will save you money in the present and future. Smart used car shoppers know a little secret that can yield big savings, and it's called a vehicle history report. Before you sign any papers or hand over any money, a vehicle history report will be the document that helps you make the final (better) decision.

In order to get a vehicle history report, you will need to know the VIN of a vehicle. VIN stands for vehicle identification number and is a 17-digit serial code assigned to every car, truck or van manufactured in the world. A VIN opens the door to a vehicle history report and better decision-making when it comes to buying a used car.

A vehicle history report is kept for every vehicle. Most everything that is reported in regards to the vehicle is recorded on the report. There is technical information, accident information, and information regarding previous owners, mileage and more. All this data leads to one thing: a smart purchasing decision. A vehicle with a history of accidents, many owners or questionable odometer readings will be red flags alerting you to problems that may come back to haunt you.

If you are shopping for a used car and find one that interests you, write down the VIN. The number is located in two places on a car. If you look down at the dashboard on the driver's side from the outside of the car (through the glass), you will see the serial code printed on a metal strip that is set into the dash. You can also find the VIN on a sticker that is located on the driver's side door. This sticker is on the flat end of the door where it touches your car when the door is closed.

Note: The sticker contains a variety of important information about your vehicle, including tire information and more.

A VIN provides a vehicle history report which leads to the right decisions when shopping for a used car. Don't buy any car, truck, van or motorcycle without first learning about its history first.