Is Investing in a Vehicle History Report in an Online Dealer Auction Worth It?

By Mike Richards Posted: 08/04/2017

When you choose to buy a used car in a dealer auction online, you’re going to hear the same advice over and over again. You have to do your research in order to determine whether or not to bid. A major part of doing this research is, of course, using a vehicle’s VIN to request a history report.

Despite the undisputed veracity of this advice, there are still many who wonder if requesting a vehicle history report is actually worth it. They wonder why they should spend money investigating a car upon which they may or may not bid. Thinking in this manner is definitely the wrong way to go about using dealer auctions online. Let’s look at why that’s the case.

Why You Should Absolutely Request a Vehicle History Report

If there’s one drawback to online dealer auto auctions, it’s that you cannot personally inspect the vehicles upon which you’re bidding. Further, you cannot get behind the wheel of the vehicle and test drive it. When you consider that all auction sales are final and as-is, the necessity of thorough research should be readily obvious.

What a Vehicle History Report Can Tell You

The history report will provide you with incredible insight into the present state of a vehicle. Often, what you can learn through this report will make or break one’s bidding decision.

One of the biggest things you should look at in the report is the number of previous owners the vehicle has had. Simply put, the more owners, the more likely ongoing maintenance hasn’t been followed. In addition to this, you will also find out a vehicle’s accident history and whether or not it’s been subject to repossessions.

In the end, taking into account all of the things you can learn in the history report will go a long way toward determining what state a vehicle is in. Should you have any trouble parsing what you’re reading, then be sure to contact your auction specialist. He or she can look over the report and give you an assessment.

Keep in mind that a history report isn’t just a tool you can use to choose what cars not to bid upon. Sometimes what you discover can lead to finding that diamond in the rough. In fact, some of the best deals in online dealer auto auctions are found through just these very means!

How You Can Request a Vehicle History Report

In order to gain access to a vehicle’s history report, you’ll need to the vehicle’s VIN. Thankfully, online dealer auto auctions provide the VIN on the actual auction page. With that, you can go to a third-party site like CarFax in order to request a report.

In the end, it’s important to remember and believe that this upfront expenditure is very important. As mentioned it can save you from purchasing a lemon. Even better, though, doing this just might draw your attention toward that used car that could become the deal of a lifetime.