Vin Number Lookup
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A Vin Number Lookup will help you avoid problems with salvage vehicles
Cars in salvage yards are there for many reasons and none of them are good. These cars may have been recovered after a theft, flooded, burned in a fire, or crashed badly enough that an insurer recorded them as totaled. Yet these cars are ending up back on dealership lots so unsuspecting consumers can buy them at unfair prices. Only a thorough Vin Number Lookup can truly protect you.
A salvage title indicates that the car was totaled, meaning it sustained damage that exceeded 80 percent of its value. When a car has that much damage, only the best restoration can get it back in good working order, and even that doesn't guarantee the car is totally safe. Complete restoration using quality materials and workmanship is not financially worthwhile. Most work is shoddy, and are quick fixes that will last only weeks or months.
The repairer of salvage vehicles often has lots of incentives to get the car off the lift and into the marketplace because many owners of salvage-vehicle repair shops also own auto dealerships. Part of the sale goes to purchasing more salvage cars.
Dealers are making a living out of ripping innocent hard working people off. The greed for profits often eliminates any concerns regarding a cars safety. If a car's air bags are deployed, the cost to replace them correctly is high - and many are not replaced or replaced correctly.
The safety issue is the greatest question in the whole salvage titling market. The safety of salvaged vehicles is hard to gauge because there's no post-repair inspection process set up that allows an independent, knowledgeable third party to review the vehicle's condition before it goes back on the road.
Many states require you to have your car inspected at the DMV or by state police before it can go back on the road, but oftentimes the state police do not have enough experience to recognize safety problems. And in some cases, the repairer of the vehicle is the one who inspects it.
You can do a Vin Number Lookup as a way of saving in the long run. A Vin Number Lookup lets you research the history of a used vehicle you're about to buy. It's very easy with online services, in many cases, you'll find the car's complete vin number history. Often, you can request a vin number lookup from the car seller.
Don't rely on a vin number lookup 100 percent. Cars bought from salvage yards or auto auctions can often come with "clean" titles, meaning the car sustained damage that amounted to less than 75 percent of its value. Insurance companies push for clean titles because they can get more money at an auction. Auction houses, too, are motivated to offer "clean-titled" cars because those fetch a price two to three times higher than salvage-titled vehicles. However, those clean titles don't necessarily mean the car is any better than a salvage-titled vehicle.
Car dealers often "wash" vehicles with a salvage title through states that have lax title and re-inspection requirements. The dealer will repair the salvage title car, then export it to a state that allows the dealer to acquire a new, clean title. That vehicle can then be sold as a "clean title" vehicle, although it had, at one time, a salvage title.
Unscrupulous car dealerships will purchase badly damaged vehicles at auctions simply for their Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs). The dealership will then steal a car of the same year, make, and model and replace the stolen car's VIN with the salvaged vehicle's VIN. Typically, the dealership will replace the VIN on the dashboard, under the hood, and on the driver's side door. This gives the dealership a car to sell without having to spend the money to repair it. The dealership can also give the buyer the title it acquired with the car bought at the auction.
Many consumers that buy vehicles from dealerships, thinking that the transaction was legal, only to have their vehicles confiscated by police during routine traffic stops. The cars are identified as stolen and then impounded by the police, and typically the buyers have little or no recourse from states' "lemon laws." Lemon laws enacted to protect consumers from buying car generally expire after 30 days and don't protect you against dealership fraud.
It's recommended that you do a Vin Number Lookup of the title history of any used car you're purchasing. And if it's been salvage-titled, have the car inspected by a knowledgeable, honest mechanic before you buy it.
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