How to Tell if a Car is Stolen
If you are buying a used car, you might be wondering how to tell if a car is stolen. TFC Title Loans is a lender and not necessarily in the business of buying and selling cars. However, we are the oldest title loan lender in California which has given us almost 25 years of experience with customers who wonder about the same questions as you. Therefore, we have taken on the responsibility of being a resource for all of our customers so they can find all the answers on topics ranging from vehicles to financial planning on our website. Consumer convenience and education are major priorities of our company and we have expanded our website to incorporate many resource pages so we can go the extra mile for our customers.
It can be a difficult process: buying a used car. It can be especially nerve-wracking trying to determine whether a private party seller is trustworthy or not. One of the biggest worries of buyers is that the car they are trying to purchase is actually stolen. However, most individuals still have no idea how to tell if a car was stolen or not. We would like to help guide you in the right direction so you can ensure that the car you are purchasing is legal. This informational article will explain how car thieves tend to trick buyers and how to look into a vehicle’s’ background to make sure it is safe to buy.
Ever since we opened our doors in 1994, we have provided title loans to thousands of customers and helped them gain financial stability through the money they’ve borrowed from us. So, if you are interested in receiving a title loan from us as well, then please give us a call or fill out our online application today. The process is incredibly simple!
A Cloned Vehicle
When you are buying a used car, you must be wary of cloned vehicles. A cloned vehicle is one vehicle that has been disguised to appear like another. Car thieves are able to do this by taking the license plates, vehicle identification number, and various stickers from a legal car and apply them to a stolen car so that the stolen car looks legal.
How to Tell if a Car is Stolen
- Find the VIN (vehicle identification number) on the vehicle you are considering purchasing and use a helpful service site like Carfax or the National Insurance Crime Bureau to check out the vehicle history report to see if it has been reported as stolen or salvaged. However, thieves can try to switch out the VIN number so pay close attention to any scratches or physical evidence that the VIN has been tampered with.
- When you are checking the VIN, ensure that the car is registered to the person that is selling it to you. Even if the car is not reported as stolen, you must make sure that the paperwork lines up with what’s going on in the buying/selling interaction.
- If you order a full vehicle history report, then you will receive information on previous accident damage, recalls, and/or title problems which can help you identify things that have not been disclosed to you by the seller.
- In a similar vein, get the car checked out by a mechanic before you buy it. A mechanic could more easily identify tampering then you might be able to. Plus, even if the car is not stolen you want to know you aren’t getting cheated in the vehicle you are buying however legal it might be.
- If the seller asks you to pay in cash, then that raises some red flags. If you only pay in cash then you will most likely not receive things like a receipt, bank documentation, or perhaps even a title. This means you will have absolutely no way to prove you own the vehicle. Make sure you receive all the paperwork needed to legally bind you to the vehicle you are buying and that can trace the vehicle to the person you bought it from.
- If you can get your hands on the paperwork then look at it closely, to ensure that it isn’t fake. Check the paperwork for any discrepancies, no matter how small, such as the wrong VIN or misspellings as these commonly occur in faked paperwork.
- Notice if the seller himself/herself doesn’t seem quite right. Things like no fixed address, a changing phone number, or emails re-routing to a foreign server are things that ought to tip you off that you should be moving on to a different car and a different seller.
If you are left with unanswered questions about how to tell if a car is stolen, then you ought to give our friendly customer representatives a call. They are standing by currently happy to assist you in any way you might need. However, if you came across this article because you are interested in borrowing a title loan then you ought to consider applying with TFC Title Loans. You should fill out our online application today!