Vehicle Accident Check
Enter VIN to unlock vehicle accident records
When purchasing a used car, we’ll want to avoid ones that have been damaged significantly. But in some cases, the sellers or dealers will hide the truth by performing some cosmetics or repairs, making it hard for us to recognize a compromised vehicle.
To determine a car’s real value and make an informed purchase, you can run a vehicle search to tell if a car has been in an accident and if it sustained a salvage or branded title.
How to check car accident history
There are different ways to determine if a car has been in an accident. You can combine these approaches to ensure you don’t miss any important or up-to-date information.
Method 1 – Get a vehicle history report online (recommended)
This is the simplest and most effective way. With a vehicle’s VIN or license plate, you can trace a car’s history over time and obtain a wealth of essential information.
Method 2 – Run an image search
A simple Google search may show you pictures of if a vehicle was previously damaged.
Method 3 – Perform a thorough car inspection
It’s necessary for discovering unreported damages and possible accident history.
License Plate Lookup
Research a Vehicle by License Plate
Method 1- Get a vehicle history report online (recommended)
You’ll need to get the car’s VIN or license plate for your search. While the license plate is easily visible, many people are not aware of where the VIN is. VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) is a unique 17-digit identifier that you can find on the dashboard near the windshield or on the driver’s side of the vehicle.
Choose a reliable tool below, enter the VIN or license plate, and you’ll unlock all the information on a vehicle.
BeenVerified is a powerful all-in-one search engine that gives you instant access to billions of people, vehicle, and property information. By searching with a VIN or license plate, you’ll be able to find a wealth of vehicle records that may impact a car’s value and reliability.
Here’s how to perform a VIN search on BeenVerified.
1. Go to the BeenVerified vehicle search page.
2. Input a VIN and click Search. You could choose license plate search as well.
3. Wait until BeenVerified scans the database. Once done, the complete report will show you the vehicle’s ownership history, market value, and potential safety issues you might want to watch out for.
The accident history tracks every accident that the car was involved in. You’ll know when and where the accident occurred, the extent of the damage, what was repaired, and whether the car has been listed in a salvage auction.
Besides the VIN and license plate lookup, there are other tools like people search, phone number search, and address search. They’re super handy when you need to verify the background and integrity of a private seller or someone you met online.
As a well-known online marketplace for used cars, Bumper aims to make car buying and selling hassle-free. It delivers reliable vehicle reports that contain up-to-date information consumers may be concerned about. To request it, you can search by VIN, license plate, or the vehicle’s model.
1. Visit the Bumper homepage.
2. Punch in a VIN or license plate number and click Search.
3. From the generated report, you can find as much vehicle history as possible. That includes various points of interest such as:
- Accident history and damage reports
- Title information, and whether there’s salvage or branded title placed on the vehicle
- Standard equipment
- Sales history and the purchase price
- Estimated ownership cost, for fuel, maintenance, and insurance
EpicVIN is also a trustworthy vehicle history report provider. It scours data from various authentic sources and NMVTIS (National Motor Vehicle Title Information System), the largest vehicle information system in the U.S., to guarantee vehicle history reports of the best accuracy and reliability.
1. Go to the EpicVIN official website. Enter a VIN or license plate to start searching.
2. EpicVIN will pull up the most precise vehicle information, including accident, lemon, and flood damage history, junk and salvage titles, service records, odometer readings and more.
Click Vehicle damages and you’ll see all the possible records, along with what’s the damage to the car and its damage type.
4. NICB VINCheck (Free)
The VINCheck tool of NICB (National Insurance Crime Bureau) is free for the public to use, allowing anyone to search for theft claims and salvage records of a particular vehicle. Here’s how it works.
1. Go to the NICB VIN check page.
2. Enter the VIN number, check the box to agree to the terms and conditions of use, complete the captcha, and click SEARCH VIN.
3. It will return relevant data within seconds. If the vehicle has suffered a reported accident and remains unrecovered or declared as salvage, you may see the total loss record.
Method 2 – Run an image search
Google is a go-to resource for finding information freely online. Below we’ll show you a trick to find possible accident information about a vehicle with Google, easily and quickly.
1. Search for a VIN or license plate in Google and proceed to the Images results.
2. You may find relevant images from insurance auctions. See if they showcase any damage to the vehicle or how severe the damage was. Open the result details to make sure the picture is aligned with the specific vehicle you’re looking for.
Method 3 – Perform a car inspection
While the VIN report offers a deep insight into a vehicle’s past, it may not be 100% reliable. A clean accident history doesn’t mean the car has not ever been wrecked or repaired. If the accident was not declared with the insurance company, or if the repair was self-paid, it won’t be reflected in the vehicle report. That’s why a car inspection is indispensable.
If you’re familiar with the vehicle specifications, you can examine the car thoroughly for potential signs of damages or repairs, such as:
- Cracks and patches, especially on fenders and bumpers, as they are easily broken in collision
- Bumps or uneven spots on the panel
- Uneven color paint or overspray across different parts of the car
- Misaligned panels and door gaps
- Unusual or mismatched welding marks on the frame and undercarriage
Alternatively, you can pay for a local professional mechanic to do a full body inspection. They are adept at spotting car issues and poorly done repairs, and they may also help you assess a fair price by determining the car’s overall condition.
That’s how to check if a car has been in an accident. Getting a vehicle report is the most convenient and easiest way to check a car’s accident history. However, not all the accidents will be recorded. So a thorough vehicle inspection is always necessary before closing the deal.
If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to leave a comment below.