How to check a used vehicle’s value by VIN

Buying a used car can be a real hassle. The prices for the same model can differ significantly, leaving less experienced buyers puzzled. Many vehicles operating on the streets have a clocked mileage or hidden damages, directly affecting their value. Insincere sellers often hide these facts, so you would pay more than a car is worth.

So how can you know if a vehicle is worth the money and if a seller is trying to scam you?

Spoiler: a carVertical report can help you out!

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How to check a vehicle’s value by VIN

carVertical allows you to check a vehicle’s history from the day it was manufactured to the present – this can help you determine its actual value. All you need to do is enter a car’s VIN number on our platform, and you will get a history report immediately.

carVertical VIN decoder

Among other things, our report will let you compare how much the same model costs (on average) when sold by dealers and private sellers. It also helps you determine how much you can expect to negotiate and how long it takes on average to sell a particular model. 

While it should be noted that not all history reports contain the section with a vehicle’s value, there are other ways carVertical can assist you. Knowing whether a vehicle has had issues such as damages and mileage rollbacks will give you an idea of where you should haggle!

Car damage records

If you’re not sure if a VIN is legitimate, you can use our free VIN decoder, which reveals the basic information about a vehicle, such as make and country of manufacturing.

How accurate is a car’s value estimation?

Estimated market value of a vehicle in carVertical report

carVertical processes thousands of classified, so it can provide buyers with the most accurate results. However, two models with the same value, manufactured in the same year, may cost differently. Why is that?

Everything depends on the car’s condition and how its engine, chassis, brakes, and other parts are preserved. If a vehicle is in bad shape, its price may be much lower compared to the same model in a good condition. 

When you try determine a vehicle’s value by VIN, you need to take into account that it represents the average price of a particular model. However, this doesn’t mean you’ll pay exactly the same price stated in a report.

How does this tool work?

A history report may include information about a used vehicle’s past damages, mileage rollbacks, theft records, technical specifications, photos, and even a list of common mechanical problems. This gives buyers a comprehensive view of a car’s condition and helps to determine its value.

Clocked vehicle found in vehicle history report

This is especially useful when you’re buying a low-priced used car, which had many owners in the past and could potentially be a risky investment.

You can use carVertical on your laptop, smartphone, or tablet. The platform also allows you to download a report as a PDF file, which can be handy if you’re selling a vehicle yourself and want to create additional value for buyers.

For a more comprehensive view, check our sample report.

Records in a vehicle report
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FAQ

What is NADA value?

The NADA (National Automobile Dealers Association) value determines the value of your used car by evaluating multiple factors, such as mileage, condition, location, accessories, and demand. 

Is NADA or KBB more accurate?

NADA guides collect data from dealerships, auctions, and classified ads to determine a used vehicle’s value. KBB (Kelley Blue Book), on the other hand, apart from collecting data, also analyzes it with their own algorithm, so most experts believe it provides more accurate information about a car’s value

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Article by

Karolis Bareckas

Karolis is an automotive writer focusing on the industry part of things. His goal is to educate readers and foster transparency in the used car market. With a passion for storytelling and extensive experience writing in a variety of fields, Karolis enjoys sharing his knowledge and spreading the word about automotive and tech topics. He’s also a a big fan of muscle cars and long road trips.

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