Register with a vendor such as Carfax, AutoData Direct, Inc. or VinAudit.com to check a car's title history. Carfax includes information about maintenance and accidents in addition to the title history, while the other two services only provide title history.
If a car has gone through the salvage/junk process, that information appears in the title history but may not appear on the clear title. Services such as Carfax provide that information as well as odometer readings, any documentation of damage to the vehicle's frame, the history of usage for the car (for example, whether it was a taxi or a rental car at some point), and the details of any recalls. If the car has been reported as a lemon or has been adjudged a total loss by an insurer, that appears on the history as well.
Another way to run a title search on a car is to ask a dealership to provide the history for a car that it has for sale. Another benefit of this is to detect a gray-market car ? a foreign car that has been brought into the country by a private organization or individual. Because these cars often fail to meet U.S. emissions standards and other regulations, they are sometimes tough to repair or even maintain. A complete report identifies the car's importer.