Knowing the history of a used car before you decide to buy one can save you a lot of money down the road.
Rather than relying on guesswork and a cursory mechanical inspection, you can now determine if a used car has been involved in accidents or had major repairs that may not only hurt your investment, but also ferret out any potential safety issues.
In British Columbia, there are primarily two vehicle claims history report services: ICBC vehicle claims history and CARPROOF. ICBC reports provide claims information from B.C., while CARPROOF reports on claims information from across North America.
You can order an ICBC report online, through ICBC’s website. The report costs $20. A CARPROOF report can also be ordered over the Internet: a standard “Claims Report” costs $39.95; a “Verified Report”, which includes a lien check, costs $51.95; a “Proof Pack” allows you to check the history of three different vehicles and includes one lien check.
For a listing of information provided, see the attached ICBC chart.
Victoria Premium Automobiles runs a CARPROOF report on every vehicle we buy and then sell.
If you are considering a vehicle on the VPA lot, be sure to request and review the CARPROOF report to learn, among other things:
- Lien details.
- Accident data - Learn whether the vehicle has been in an accident, what type of incident occurred and the amount of damage.
- Registration and branding - Discover which provinces the vehicle was registered in and whether the car has been negatively branded.
- Full Canadian and U.S. history - See a complete picture of any vehicle history from across Canada, as well as the U.S.
- Salvage title - If the car has been in a serious accident, fire or flood and was “totaled” by the insurance company (declared a total loss), it still might be drivable. However, the insurance company will issue a “salvage title” to alert future buyers.
- Accidents - Accidents are reported to the insurance company and will probably be on the vehicle history report.
- Odometer - Some car lots spin the odometer back to increase the vehicle’s selling price. History reports can alert you to this scam.
- Maintenance records - Sometimes service visits are listed on the vehicle history report, showing the routine maintenance or repairs performed by a mechanic. This is most likely if the car was serviced at a car dealership rather than an independent garage.
- Recall information - This is useful information, but it can be checked for free on other sites.
Take the guesswork out of buying a used vehicle. Rely on Victoria Premium Auto and CARPROOF reports to find the best quality, best maintained used vehicles at the right price.