In 2006, an estimated 34% of American consumers bought a vehicle history report for used cars. Vehicle history reports are one way to check the track record of any used vehicle. Vehicle history reports provide customers with a record based on the vehicle’s serial number (VIN). These reports will indicate items of public record, such as vehicle title branding, lemon law buybacks, odometer fraud, and product recall. The report may indicate minor/moderate collision damage or improper vehicle maintenance. An attempt to identify vehicles which have been previously owned by hire car rental agencies, police and emergency services or taxi fleets is also made. Consumers should research vehicles carefully, as these reporting services only report the information to which they have access.
In some countries the government is a provider of vehicle history, but this is usually a limited service providing information on just one aspect of the history, such as the MOT history. The U.S. Department of Justice’s National Motor Vehicle Title Registration System has only about a dozen approved data providers, about half of which sell car history data to consumers; the rest work only with car dealers. None of them are currently free of charge to consumers and many are not free even to the car dealers.  The Better Business Bureau recommends using one of these approved data providers when researching a used car. The history reports use several sources to gather the data for each vehicle including, the police, DVLA, finance houses, the national mileage register, insurance companies and industry bodies.
Several of the services, most notably those in the United Kingdom and the United States, sell reports to dealers and then encourage the dealers to display the reports on their Internet sites. These reports are paid for by the dealer and then offered for free to potential buyers of the vehicle.
In the UK, the DVLA provides information on the registration of vehicles to certain companies for consumer protection and anti-fraud purposes. Companies may add to the reports additional information gathered from police, finance and insurance companies. Car history check services are available online for the public and motor trade customers. In India Parivahan a Government owned ministry of Road and Transport highway authority is responsible for providing information related to Vehicle Registration and Service History.
A used car, a pre-owned vehicle, or a secondhand car, is a vehicle that has previously had one or more retail owners. Used cars are sold through a variety of outlets, including franchise and independent car dealers, rental car companies, buy here pay here dealerships, leasing offices, auctions, and private party sales. Some car retailers offer “no-haggle prices,” “certified” used cars, and extended service plans or warranties.