Many people actively search the Internet looking for a place that they can conduct a free VIN number lookup. This really doesn’t surprise me since we all want to save a buck whenever possible. With that being said, I wanted to chat about the concept of a free VIN number lookup and reveal if there are really ways to acquire a vehicle history report for free.
In my last post, I discussed the difference between the two major VIN number lookup services (AutoCheck vs Carfax) and recommended AutoCheck for a handful of different reasons (one of them being price). What used car purchasers need to understand is that there really are only two ways to find out if you are buying a lemon or not.
You can either…
a.) Pay for a VIN number lookup / vehicle history report from AutoCheck.
b.) Have a certified mechanic look over the vehicle before purchasing.
Unfortunately both of these options cost money. So unless you’re a mechanic or have a really good mechanic friend who owes you a favor you’re going to have to spend a few bucks. There also isn’t a free VIN number lookup website available so I don’t recommend wasting your time searching for one.
While the concept of a free VIN number lookup doesn’t exist, it doesn’t mean you can’t get creative and have someone else pay for it. Why not get the seller to pay the costs associated with an AutoCheck vehicle history report?
Let me explain…
You can always use a VIN number check as a bargaining tool when reviewing used cars. The best way to do this is establish with the seller upfront that you won’t buy anything without conducting a VIN number lookup first. Then let them know that you would like them to deduct the cost of the vehicle history report from the purchase price of the car.
That means that if the seller is asking $5,000 for the vehicle, request $50 off for the costs associated with an AutoCheck VIN number lookup. Using this strategy you can count on an additional $50 deduction from any used car you purchase and you will have a clear understanding of the car’s history.
I’ve personally used this strategy many times and was able to save even more money simply because of what turned up on the AutoCheck vehicle history report. Any little ding against a potential vehicle gives you more room to negotiate a lower price. In fact, on my last Craigslist vehicle purchase, I was able to get the buyer to discount the price by 25% by simply reviewing the AutoCheck report I ran on the vehicle.
In closing, the concept of a free VIN number lookup service simply doesn’t exist but paid services like AutoCheck are the key to making a smart used car buying decision. The minimal costs associated with a VIN number lookup now will save you time, money and frustration down the road.