Day three - Hidden Histories

* Don't get conned when buying used * Follow our guide * Day four - Car Keys...

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What Car? Staff
14 May 2010

Day three - Hidden Histories

Its easy to be complacent when buying a used car, or take the cheapest option, but failing to find out about a cars background can cause serious problems.

A recent survey of used car buyers by found that a staggering 61% either didnt think to get a history check on the vehicle, or didnt see the value in finding out about a cars history.

Just crossing your fingers when buying a used car is madness. The number of stolen vehicles, write offs, and cars still on finance make a history check essential.

You get what you pay for with a vehicle history check. The cheaper ones may look better value, but could fail to give a complete picture of the cars history. Miss something important and you could end up out of pocket and without a car.

The best history checks give you a complete picture of the car youre buying allowing you to ensure that the car youre looking at matches perfectly. Items detailed include a complete description of the vehicle, any outstanding finance agreements, if the car is recorded as scrapped, imported, exported or written off, had a colour or number plate change, if its been reported stolen, the number of previous keepers if its likely to be risk of theft or fraud.

A history check wont automatically protect from buying a clone, but checking the authenticity of a cars V5C registration document, along with the VIN and the rest of the cars documentation will help you steer clear of them.

As part of Car Crime Awareness Week, were helping you buy smarter with our week-long special. Check out's Fighting Car Fraud pages for more tips on how to beat car criminals, including our downloadable checklist.