Is a Car History Check Really Worth the Money?

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 Is a Car History Check Really Worth the Money?

When it comes to buying a used car, we've come a long way from taking a test drive and kicking the tyres! A car history check has become an essential part of the process.

As a used car buyer, It's difficult to put a price on the peace of mind you get from a vehicle history check. It is estimated that as many as one-third of all used vehicles on the road may have a hidden, and less than ideal history. With an estimated 100,000 used vehicles changing hands every year in Ireland, it is essential to arm yourself with as much of a car's history as possible to avoid making a costly mistake or even putting your safety at risk.


With that in mind, you may ask yourself, ‘is a car history check really worth it’? Before you decide, it’s worth considering the following:

1) Potential Safety Issues


Probably the single best reason to purchase a vehicle history check is for your own driving safety. A car that has previously suffered accident damage may be unsafe to drive.


2) Security of Investment


Before you spend your hard-earned money on a used car, you will want reassurance that your money is well spent. Purchasing a vehicle with a hidden history could later turn out to be a very poor investment when it comes to trading in or selling the vehicle on.

“Should you unknowingly purchase a car with unpaid finance, it may well be seized and sold on by the creditor, leaving you without your car and without your cash”

3) Risk of Outstanding Finance


Did you know that a finance company has the right to recover any vehicle with outstanding finance, regardless of whether it has subsequently been sold on or otherwise changed owners? Should you unknowingly purchase a car with unpaid finance, it may well be seized and sold on by the creditor, leaving you without your car and without your cash.


4) Ownership Status


As is the case with outstanding finance, you may well find yourself out of pocket should you unwittingly purchase a stolen vehicle. In such cases, you will have little, if any recourse to recover your money should the car be identified as stolen and returned to its rightful owner.


5) Possibility of Previous Write-off 


Many vehicles, which have suffered significant accident damage, are later sold on for parts or recycling. While it's not out of the question to repair a previously written-off car, it is essential that repair work has been carried out to the highest standard.  Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case and repairs to such vehicles can be less than satisfactory. This can compromise the safety of the vehicle and can render it dangerous to use, and ultimately worthless. It is essential to know beforehand if the car has been categorised as a write-off in the past so that all necessary safety checks can be carried out beforehand, or so you can simply walk away.


6) Mileage Discrepancies


One of the most basic issues a vehicle history check will address is the indicated mileage. Stated mileage has a significant impact on the value of a used car so any discrepancy could at least affect the resale value or, at worst, result in higher maintenance costs and expensive repair bills.


7) Reassurance & Peace of Mind


The average price paid for a used car in Ireland has risen significantly in recent times, so it has never before made as much sense to purchase a vehicle history check. This small investment is tiny in comparison to the much larger investment you will make in a used car and could save you thousands in the long run. 


So, in answer to the question, ‘is a car history check worth the money?’ Whatever the cost, it’s a small price to pay for your safety, value for money and overall peace of mind. It may well be the best investment you ever make.

Before you buy a used car, visit to find a range of car buying resources such as a VRT Calculator, Customs Duty & Vat calculator, Average Price Guide and to purchase your Car History Check.


Justin Kavanagh
Justin Kavanagh is a recognised leader in automotive intelligence and vehicle data supply to the entire motor industry. He has almost 20 years experience in building systems from the ground up. As the Managing Director of Vehicle Management System, he understands the need and importance of trustworthy and reliable vehicle history and advice to both the trade and the public.
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