VIN numbers are generally used to find out whether a vehicle has been stolen or not, whether it has been in an accident, and/or whether it is a lemon car. However, you can also look up car values by VIN number. So how does this work, and why should you use it?
Finding Car Values By VIN Number:
Using a VIN number to find out car values is really useful because it can tell you how much you could ask a private seller to pay for it, or how much a dealership should give you as a trade in. It will also tell you the value according to the Kelley Blue Book (KBB), as well as an overall estimated value. Most interesting is that it will tell you the original recommended retail price of the vehicle.
How Does It Work?
When you check car values by VIN number, what you will get is an estimate. This estimate is based on solid facts, however, including your vehicle's history and the value assigned to your kind of car by the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) and the KBB. The value will also be based on the number of accidents the vehicle has been in. The more accidents it has had, the less the value will be.
The KBB value of a vehicle is generally believed to be the most accurate of all. When you use a VIN number to check a car's value, this will usually be largely based on what the KBB says as well. However, it will give you that extra bit of information that the KBB won't be able to give you, because it looks specifically at your car.
What About A VIN Check?
Looking up the value of a car by a VIN number is not just beneficial for car sellers, it can help car buyers as well. First of all, it will tell you what the estimated value of a vehicle you may want to buy is, as per the above. This means that you can easily find out whether a seller is overpricing or trying to sell the vehicle at a relatively low price. Both are red flags that you must avoid. If a vehicle is over-priced, it is likely that they expect you to deal and are pricing their car high because they hope that you forget to negotiate. If it is too low, however, it is likely that there is something they are not telling you.
Naturally, the most important thing is that the VIN number will confirm the identity of the vehicle you are looking at. This will ensure that you aren't accidentally buying a stolen vehicle, or even one that has been in the chop shop. This is also why you should look up the VIN number on the vehicle yourself, rather than it being given to you, and you should check the various locations in the car where you can find the number so that you don't only obtain the number that is associated with a single, replaceable part on the car.