Buying a used car in California? Here Is How to Check It

To ensure you get the best deal and get a car that you love, we've put together our best advice for buying a used car in California. New car buyers need not worry; we take care of them!

Keep an eye out for essential documents

Get a vehicle history report every time you buy a vehicle. It lets you know immediately if you are chasing a dead end when you do this as a first step. A vehicle identification number (VIN) is all you need to check  with EpicVin

Buying a used car in California? Here Is How to Check It

Take the car for a test drive

When buying a used car, this is one of the most important steps. Be careful if you see any lights coming on, check your visibility, and notice any strange smells. Here are some other things to consider:

  • Is your tire old? How even are they? What does the tread look like? The spare tire should also be checked.
  • Are your brakes making any strange noises? Feel smooth when you touch them?
  • Does anything leak or steam?
  • Are all of your lights working?
  • Is it possible to open and close the doors, windows, and lids properly?
  • When you turn on the engine, how does it sound?

Feel, smell, and hear what you're hearing and feeling while driving. Watch out for odd noises or vibrations as you drive over rough roads. Variate the speed of the car by stopping and starting it.

Check the VIN

The car's identification numbers should be the same on all other parts of the car as well. It has been reported that some people have cloned VINs. 

Check the VIN

You might notice on a car where a VIN should be, that the VIN has been scraped off or worked on to cover up the fact that the VIN has been altered if the seller attempts to sell you a car with a cloned VIN. 

Research is important. You can find the VIN in many parts of the vehicle. You should verify that the VIN on all other parts is the same. 

Under the front passenger seat floor mat, for instance, you can find the Honda Civic 2020's VIN. In addition to the dashboard, the VIN can also be found on the driver's door jamb.

To ensure that all the VINs on the vehicle match what you have on the title, check all these parts of the vehicle. A VIN lookup tool can then be used to check the VIN. 

Buying a used car in California? Here Is How to Check It

Checking a vehicle's history is another option if you don't find the VIN on the car. Using the vehicle's plate number, you can perform a license plate anywhere in California. The results will be provided free of charge by EpicVin once you type in the license plate number and the state on the website. 

Ensure your safety

Unscrupulous individuals are taking advantage of the high demand for cars by reselling refurbished bad cars in order to replace the damaged vehicles. 

Make sure to check the history of the car you are considering before purchasing it. 

To check the VIN or license plate number of any car, use EpicVin's free service.

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