There are risks involved in buying a used car, but these can be reduced if you take certain steps. You need to take extra care when buying a popular make such as BMW, as these can have a history that may contain hidden secrets.
How do you ensure you know everything about the car you are looking at, in easy steps? It’s actually very simple: the first thing you should do is use a BMW VIN look up service, so let us explain what this is all about.
What is the VIN?
Every single road vehicle, manufactured anywhere in the world, is obliged to be given a Vehicle Identification Number – the VIN. This is a unique identifier that is issued in standard form by every single manufacturer.
You will find the VIN on your car usually in the engine bay, or sometimes in the footwell of the car, stamped on to a metal plate. It is important that you check it using a service such as that we have mentioned.
What does it tell you? The VIN remains with the car throughout its life. The original information it carries tells you where and when it was made, who by, the model of the car and type and size of engine, and a lot more.
Where it is useful when buying a used BMW is that you can discover if the car has been modified or altered in any way – perhaps illegally as is not uncommon with performance vehicles – or if it has been involved in an accident, has been written off or has been stolen. The information that comes back when you check the VIN should match the paperwork for the car; if it does not, you need to consider your purchase very carefully.
How to Check the VIN
We have mentioned the BMW VIN checking service – it’s not just for BMW’s by the way, you can check many other makes too – so let’s talk about how to use it.
Once you have the VIN from the car – be careful to write it down correctly and double check – you simply enter it into the appropriate space on the decoder page. The system will find the details for that particular vehicle and bring that information up for you in easy to read format.
With this information you can also gather the market value of the car, so you have information not only on its past history, but whether or not the vendor is asking the right price – or too much!
Checking a vehicle’s VIN is essential if you are buying a car – or other road vehicle – using a loan or other credit agreement. The details of the car will need to be given to the lender, so you must make sure everything is above board and correct before you enter into agreement.
Check the VIN in the first instance – you can do it on your smartphone or tablet very quickly – and make sure you are looking at a car that is legitimate and safe.