It might not be easy to do, but it is possible to drive a stolen car without knowing it. You might buy a certified pre-owned car only to learn later it was stolen. You might win an auction for a minivan only to learn the seller never owned the van in the first place.
You need to protect yourself from buying stolen cars anytime you buy or sell a car. Here are some tips to help you figure out the best way to search for a car’s history and avoid purchasing stolen cars.
Read on to find out how to find out if a car is stolen.
Check the Vehicle Identification Number
If you’re looking to buy a used car, it’s important to always check the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to find out if the car was stolen. A car’s VIN is its unique 17-digit code.
You can find the VIN on the car’s dashboard, the driver’s side door, or the car’s title. If you are looking at a car that doesn’t have a VIN or it’s covered up, walk away. Checking the VIN is the best way to ensure you are not buying a stolen car.
Look at the License Plates
If you see a car with license plates that look out of place, it could be a stolen car. Thieves often switch out license plates to make it harder to track down the stolen vehicle.
If you think the car you’re considering purchasing was stolen, call the police and give them the license plate number. They can check to see if the car has been reported stolen.
Visit the NCIB Website
The best place to start is the National Crime Information Bureau (NCIB) website. Here you can search by the car’s make and model and license plate number to see if it has been reported stolen.
If the car comes up as stolen, you should contact the police immediately. If the car is not listed as stolen, you can check with the NCIB to see if there are any other suspicious reports of the car or any involvement in criminal activity.
Ask an Insurance Company
If you think your car may have been stolen, you can also consider contacting your insurance company. They will be able to run a report to see if the car has been reported stolen.
If the car has been reported stolen, the insurance company will work with you to fix what needs to be fixed and not push through with the deal. You can also consider calling the police or a stolen car lawyer for additional help.
Check the Vehicle’s Service Records
If you’re looking to buy a used car, one important thing to check is the vehicle’s service records. This will tell you if the car was reported as stolen.
While you’re at it, you should also check for any accidents or major repairs that have been made to the car. Knowing the car’s history can help you make a more informed decision about whether or not to buy it.
Be an Expert on How to Find Out If a Car is Stolen
If you’re wondering how to find out if a car is stolen, this guide is for you. The tips above should be able to help you know what to look for and how to report a stolen car.
By the end of this guide, you should now know how to detect a stolen or suspicious car, and also what to do after.
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