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What Does it Mean to Do a Car History Check?

Buying a car should fill you with nothing but joy. Yet, there can be times when it doesn't go as planned – if you don't take the necessary steps before you buy. 🤔 One of those essential steps involves performing a car history check on the vehicle to ensure everything is ok. But what does it mean to do a car history check? That's the purpose of this guide, which covers everything you need to know about checking a vehicle's past. 

What is a car history check?

A car history check is when you find out a vehicle's historical information. It usually doesn't tend to check  a car's service history, but lets you know about important aspects like whether it has been stolen, owes outstanding finance, or has been in an accident. 

You can also check a car MOT history online, (it's important to check a MOT history for a car), the car's mileage and aesthetic components, like its colour, registered year, as well as if it's manual or automatic, and whether it uses petrol, diesel, or runs off electric

Why do a car history check?

A car is the most expensive purchase after buying a house for most people. It's a big commitment, and you want to ensure that your money goes on a car that serves you well. By performing a car history check, you can identify any potential problems and save yourself plenty of hassle further down the line. 

For example, if the vehicle was stolen and someone tried to sell it illegally, the car history check will tell you in advance. As a result, you can avoid buying a stolen car and dealing with the repercussions that may come with that scenario. 

Benefits of a car history check? 

Before buying a vehicle, you should do your due diligence to check there aren't any problems. Again, a car history check can help you avoid any issues surrounding buying a car with noteworthy history. This includes:

  • If it's stolen
  • Still has outstanding finance owed
  • Has been in a major accident
  • Has fake mileage (if the mileage on the dashboard doesn't add up with the report)
  • When the MOT is due

You don't want any problems, like a finance company coming after you for the money you don't owe because the car still has finance on it. Performing a car history check gives you peace of mind and lets you know you're buying a vehicle without any previous problems. 

What happens if I don't perform a check?

All might be well and good if you don't perform a car history check, but it's not a risk worth taking. Buying a car that may be illegal or still have finance owed can cause a serious headache, and as the registered keeper you'll likely end up dealing with the problems. 

For example, the car finance company could repossess the vehicle from you if they're still owed money on it, and the payments are no longer being made. As a result, you would need to prove it was bought with good intentions and you were unaware of the outstanding finance owed. Easier said than done.

How to Check a Car History 

Performing a history check on your car is easy, and you can do it online. Your options include an HPI check, which costs around £10 and details the car's history since registration. Alternatively, you can do it for free on a car-buying or car finance website. 

At Carmoola, we offer a history check during the finance application process. We'll ask you to input the vehicle's registration number to check that everything matches up and there are no issues before offering a finance decision. 

The history of a car

It's vital to perform a car history check, so you don't end up losing out in the long term. The last thing you want is to buy a car that's been in a major accident, still has finance owing or was stolen. And a quick car history check will help you avoid all these problems so you can feel confident when you purchase your next vehicle. 👍

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