You have to be well prepared before buying a used car. To minimize the risk of a unexpected loss and the purchase of an expensive trouble it can be worth knowing as much information about the vehicle’s past and history as possible. autoDNA service will inform you what to pay attention to before buying used vehicle, what pathological phenomena are ubiquitous in the trade of used cars as well as how to understand autoDNA reports and how to behave properly.
The car's vehicle identification number (VIN - Vehicle Identyfication Number).is the identifying code for a SPECIFIC vehicle. The VIN serves as the car's fingerprint, as no two vehicles in operation have the same VIN. A VIN is composed of 17 characters (digits and capital letters) that act as a unique identifier for the vehicle. A VIN displays the car's unique features, specifications and manufacturer. The VIN can be used to track recalls, registrations, warranty claims, thefts and insurance coverage as well as the description of any kind of equipment.
Before buying a used car always ask about the VIN number! It is the most important element when buying a car. The VIN number decoding is especially of a great importance because it helps to find out whether the collected data are consistent with the facts. In the cases of some manufacturers there is also the possibility of checking the VIN number correctness according to the standard of ISO as the control digit is included. However, some of them do not allow its checking e.g. Volkswagen and Audi vehicles.
Above is the example of VIN decoding and the visible effect on the autoDNA report.
These are very frequent phenomena to increase the attractiveness and the value of the vehicle (even about 20%). They concern trifle more than half of the vehicles sold on the secondary market. Odometer rollback is not only the domain of Poles. Everybody rolls it back. It is also a common practice in Germany, France and Italy. Be sure to check the vehicle on the autoDNA service and get to know for free whether there is some information about the vehicle’s history like events associated with it. Additionally, w should request the service book from the seller and we have to check its originality as well as verify it in an authorized service (ASO). Only then we will be sure of its authenticity.
Above is the example of the vehicle of which the autoDNA service stated the odometer correction based on the information mileage delivered. Absolutely in such situations we have to be vigilant and check the vehicle exactly in this regard. The mileages are available in the form as supplied to us. We mark them on the report in a visible manner.
Cars in England are very cheap and even after the transformation, which requires a significant investment, they are still being sold at a profit. Often, transferring the steering wheel from right (the English version) to the left (the European version) is done in the poor conditions and at the lowest cost. It has the influence not only on the vehicle efficiency but also on the passengers’ and other road users safety. Always check the side location of the steering column. It often happens that before the vehicle goes to the Polish market, it is registered temporarily in Germany just to get the German documents so called ‘the Brief’. They are later easily sold as vehicles purchased in Germany or France.
Above is the example of the report from the autoDNA service with the information of the side location of the steering column. The left side is a European version, the right side is an English one.
The easiest and the cheapest way is to buy accident or damaged cars. It most often happens abroad e.g. in Germany or the Netherlands, however, in recent times the more frequently in other countries. From year to year the supply of the second-hand cars increases in the market of accident vehicles. Just on these cars it can be earned the most without losing so that they enjoy the considerable popularity among companies selling second-hand cars. At present about 50% of vehicles have got the accidental past, what is more, another 20% have overcome the less collisions.
Above is the example of the report from the autoDNA service with the information about the vehicle’s damage that is an accident vehicle. Be sure to check the events connected with the vehicle on the autoDNA reports. In such situations it is necessary to ask the seller about the accidental past of the vehicle. Our information is always verified and checked carefully so that it can make you vigilant. Make sure you have checked the vehicle in an authorized service (ASO).
Regardless of whether you are buying a new or a used vehicle, it may include the manufacturing flaws of the components! There have already been manufacturing flaws of the air bags (accidentally blowing air bags) or a jammed accelerator pedal. Most of them significantly influence the safety and are registered by the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection. In such cases the manufacturers are obliged to inform the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection as well as the vehicles’ owners through the dealer. They usually have the current data of customers, unfortunately, it concerns only the first owners. The next practically do not have the chance to get such a notification about the repairing service because neither the general importer nor the dealer possess the personal data of those people. In such situations there is nothing else like to make sure through VIN database that the vehicle includes the service action.
Above is the example of the report from the autoDNA service with the information about the service action from one of the manufacturers. In such situations be sure to check the vehicle on autoDNA service and find out the information concerning the service action for your vehicle. Most of the service actions are indefinite in time. No matter where the car was bought whether it was Germany or France the manufacturers’ flaws can be removed in other countries. Make sure in authorized service whether the flaw was removed. If not, make an appointment at the dealer’s and remove it free of charge.
Always check stolen cars databases and repositories - the extra vigilance is necessary not only to estimate the technical condition but also to check all the documents as well as the legality of the vehicle. Make sure whether the vehicle has not been stolen as well as if it does not appear in the police data base of stolen cars. In the case of buying or owing such a vehicle we can lose a lot. From the loss of the property and money to the accusation of selling stolen goods.
Above is the example of the report from the autoDNA service with the information and the result of thorough searching over a dozen registers of stolen cars. Whatever is the supposed country of origin, always remember and check stolen cars databases!
Comparison of the actual vehicle equipment to its factory configuration helps to determine the vehicle history, especially previous collisions, damages or accidents. Very often to avoid necessary costs, vehicles after accidents are not restored to the original condition that meets factory description. Therefore, before buying a used car obligatory check factory specification and compare to the current condition. Hereafter some samples: chassis color , trim color, exterior finishes (body moldings, bumpers, mirrors, door handles, etc), heated and folding mirrors, heated front and rear windows, number of airbags, electric windows. Pay special attention also to the - seemingly unimportant extras – like a type of navigation and audio system. In accident cars all of these elements are often exchanged for non-genuine parts or used parts from another model with different factory specification.
The fact that vehicle goes on sale different such as rolled off the production, evidenced by the presence of additional elements that are not in factory specification such as electric windows, sports package or other.
When buying a used car it is good to look at previous photos. Often we may know that the vehicle we want to buy as non-accident car, has had collision or serious accident. From pictures we can see also that the vehicle passed some repairs, modifications and whether its appearance a few years ago is different from the present.
Pictures of the car – if there is a lot and from different periods – may also indicate that the vehicle was repeatedly exposed to sale, by the same or different owners.
When buying a used car, we can check who and when was interested in, was looking at the configuration, odometer readings, pictures, etc. A lot of checks in the past few months may indicate that the owner unsuccessfully trying to sell the car, this should raise your alertness. Checks from different places – for example from north of the country and a few months later another checks from the south of the country – can attest to the fact that the car has changed the owner in recent months and is again exposed for sale. This may mean that vehicle did not meet buyer expectations.
In european countries, which are covered by highways and express roads, annual mileage of used cars very often are very high. Unfortunatly in many countries there is an opinion that such a cars are really heavily used. Of course can be like that but it is not an automatic. Dishonest traders, as well as private persons selling their used cars roll back current car mileage, especially for cars which have more then 200 thousand km. Mileage on the level of 150-190 thousand km is a magic limit that customers are willing to accept. On autoDNA for cars from Netherlands there are special reports that allow you to verify current odometer reading and allow you to learn more about vehicle history from Netherlands. It is really useful to verify information provided by the seller using autoDNA report for dutch vehicles.
LPG installation is also important information. Keep in mind that buying a used car with fuel engine does not guarantee low mileage. In Netherlands it is very common to install LPG in such a cars. In this cases such a cars can be heavily used. Mileage on the level of 250 - 300 thousand km are not unusual.
US and Canada cars are very popular in many countries, also in Europe. Very often attractive price is a main decision factor, sometimes it is result of willing to have an uncommon car and only available in US. Import scale is lower then between european countries. However here it is also easy to buy a used car with unexpected condition. Taking into account cost of transport, taxes, dollar exchange rate, import of salvage and accident cars is the most profitable. After repair such a cars are selling as no accidents cars. Therefore before buying used US cars it is always worth to check it. To have a complete information about the car we recommend to buy AutoCheck and CARFAX reports on autoDNA website. In US and Canada very accurately information about used vehicles are collected and most of cases information about serious damage or water damage is detected and it is present in vehicle history reports.
Vehicles from France are imported to our country almost as frequently as from Germany. But before you decide to purchase car from France, it is good to know what VIN says about it's history. Vehicle History from France which is available in autoDNA reports containt not only general information about vehicle(make, model, type of engine, propulsion, type of fuel, number of doors etc.) but also damage history (verification if vehicle has been recorded as damaged), the purpose of the car ( if it was a commercial vehicle, or use as a taxi, rental etc.). Report also contains history of onwership (one or several previous owners). You can also find additional information about CO2 emissions and fuel consumption, declared by the manufacturer.