Useful Ways to Check if a Car is Stolen
Despite numerous efforts by the people and authorities, car theft has always been a big problem around the globe that has not seen a solution yet. The stolen vehicle brings with it a number of issues both for itself and its potential buyer. Some smart buyers are able to find out the vehicle’s reality while others don’t. So, we have listed below some important ways that will let you find the car’s history and avoid buying stolen cars. Check them out.
1. Locate the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
VIN, a 17 character code, makes it obvious to extract the vehicle’s history and is usually located in several locations of the vehicle including the dashboard and the side of the driver’s seat. Ask the seller for the VIN and check if the number told by him matches the one on the vehicle. If it won’t match, it may mean that the seller is dishonest and the vehicle is stolen.
2. Look for Warning Signs
Sometimes, the seller may not allow you to inspect the vehicle or verify the VIN; sell the vehicle at a location other than his home; trying to close the deal quickly by whatever means; refuse to complete the bill of sale, or the license plate does not match the vehicle. Such cases can be a clear sign that he is not dealing with you fairly.
3. Check with the National Insurance Crime Bureau
On having the VIN, go to the NICB website, and enter the VIN in the VINCheck page. The results will show you if the VIN is associated with a reported stolen vehicle. You can inform the NICB or law enforcement about this unfair selling. But, NICB advises not to confront the seller if a VIN associates with auto theft.
4. Check the Vehicle History report
The VIN Check database only lists the reported vehicles, hence unreported ones are not listed here. In this case, check the vehicle’s history with the Department of Motor Vehicles or the Registrar of Motor Vehicles in the state where the vehicle is registered. The results will list the current owner, any accidents, including total losses and salvages reported by insurance companies making it easy for you to detect the theft.
5. Connect with your Insurance Company
Insurance companies also keep specific databases of stolen vehicles and perform checks for current customers. So you can check with them too.
6. Review the vehicle’s service report
Since most sellers provide the vehicle’s service records, you can ensure if these records match the VIN on the vehicle. You can also get a paid full-service report by AutoCheck, using the VIN. This report will also include the vehicle’s feature description, which you can check for authenticity by yourself.
7. Involve your mechanic
A mechanic will identify some red flags that you may not such as tampering with the VIN decals, places that thieves usually cover up to defraud naive buyers, etc. So it is a good idea to ask him if he sees anything that indicates the vehicle as stolen.
8. Know which vehicles are most stolen
Every vehicle can be stolen, just some are stolen more than others. Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima, Toyota Corolla, Full-size GMC, Jeep Cherokee, and Grand Cherokee were among the most stolen vehicles in 2020. Based on NICB reports, 2020 saw stats of over 870,000 stolen cars in the US, which was 9.2% more than the previous year.
After looking at the stats of auto thefts and the numerous ways by which the seller can fool the buyers, it becomes clear that the need of the hour is to purchase a car with due diligence. This will help you safeguard yourself from getting defrauded by unfaithful sellers and entangled in their fraudulent practices.