What is VIN Fraud? It is an act which involves replacement or alteration of a vehicle’s data (specifically its identification number) so that consumers can be misled. This is an act which is stated to be against the laws. The two main are as follows — Are you protected?
- VIN Cloning
- VIN Alteration
To understand or to protect yourself from VIN fraud, you first need to learn about the different types and how they are carried out. Only when you have enough knowledge about it can you take the proper action to be protected from it. To help you go through a proper VIN look up, let’s help you understand the basic two types:
This is the most common type of VIN Fraud that fraudsters attempt because it is pretty much easy to carry out. All you need is a VIN from a similar vehicle that’s legally registered and then place it on a property that is stolen or probably damaged so that its identity is hidden. VIN Cloning means that a person is evading the laws and also gives them the power to sell a stolen car to a buyer who has no idea or suspicions about the deed.
The VIN Alteration has serious consequences if you get caught and it is of higher risk. This can result in adverse conditions like staying in jail for a considerably long period. VIN Alteration includes acts such as removing the VIN of the vehicle on purpose, knowing the consequences it can end up with. Destroying the VIN so nobody is able to read it or changing the numbers of the VIN are also a part of the VIN Alteration Fraud.
HOW TO CHECK IF YOU ARE BUYING A STOLEN CAR?
Knowing and understanding the different terms of VIN Fraud is important to protect yourself from it. However, you need to know about how you can exactly check for it too. What makes you identify that the car is stolen or not. Here are some ways through which you can do a research and make sure that you are not buying a stolen car.
- Where can you get a VIN Fraud Car? First things first; when are you mostly at risk of buying a stolen car? The high risk rate is when you are buying a car online and you can even be at risk when buying from dealership. Also when you buy a car on sale from the owner-don’t forget to check for VIN fraud signs because why would the owner sell his or her car on a discounted price to you? So how can you check whether a car is stolen or not on sale? Usually it is easier to check for stolen cars on sale. It is difficult on proper dealerships etc.
- Inspection of the vehicle: First you need to inspect the vehicle on your own. Also ask the owner whether they are going to allow your mechanic to take a look at it or not. If they get suspicious and make excuses; you definitely know that something is not right. Thus it is better to drop the idea right there and not buy the car. Moreover if they allow your mechanic to check, make sure that you take the car to a really good one. The best mechanics usually get to know about anything weird that might have been done with the car. They are also capable of catching attempts of any bad action. If the mechanic clears your vehicle and your VIN look up is cleared by him then that is a really good sign and you can jump to the next step of your research.
- Use a Crime Bureau Database: But as VIN Fraud is too common now, you need to take the car to the bureau database. There is a proper National Insurance Crime Bureau database which helps you indicate whether the car has been stolen or not. This tool is absolutely free to use and will help you magically in VIN look up.
- History of the Car: Next, you need to check the history of the car too as it is important for VIN look up research. There are various companies that do this for you and a lot of tools are accessible online as well. It is always better to check the history from both the sources but a proper office might make you feel more satisfied. Car Proof is a good place where you can check for the history of the car in all ways and feel satisfied about it too. They have been providing with accurate car histories since a long time.
PRO TIPS FOR HELP
The above-mentioned steps for a proper VIN look up process will help you in protecting yourself from fraud. Buying a stolen car can easily turn your life upside down and make it hell. To make sure that you secure yourself in all ways and don’t purchase a stolen or VIN Fraud car, here are some stress free tips that can be of great help, to keep up your sleeve.
- If the seller whines about missing papers, insurance or registration, don’t buy the car. The seller might reduce the price for you too, making sure that the offer seems great to you. But remember that the basic papers are an essentiality and the owner must have them. If these are missing, don’t that seller again.
- VIN number can be painted or tampered easily. Take a good look at it. If you don’t have time to take it to a proper mechanic, then do it on your own. Throw light on it and check it in all possible ways for any signs of modification. If you think that the VIN has been tampered, you simply do not buy that vehicle.
- This is going to get obvious; the seller is not going to allow you to inspect the car deeply. The seller might make excuses but you are the one who must walk away. If he/she is making lame justifications for not letting you take the car to a mechanic, you walk away from that offer and find a better one.
- Another thing that usually VIN frauds do is that they don’t allow you to drive the car for testing. This is usually what everyone does before buying a car; they test drive it. Avoid the offer of such sellers and walk away without any further discussions because these frauds can easily mess up with your mind.
- Fraud sellers usually don’t meet up their own places. They make excuses and try setting a meet up in public locations. Don’t ever fall prey to this. Always confirm the identification and the address that is mentioned on the advertisement or offer, from where you got to know about the sale. Meet them at their house for best inquiries.
Conducting a VIN look up is a lot of work for sure, but it doesn’t take more than a day or two to complete. Just make sure that you don’t allow yourself to fall prey to buying a stolen car as that can be a truly messy problem to have. VIN Fraud is increasing and it is recommended that you take the proper actions to remain safe. Take our advice to heart.
Why Motor Vehicle Finance Is A Good Investment
From the moment you get the keys to your first car, there is something special about driving. The freedom it gives you and the sensation of being able to do what you want, when you want, is great. At first, any car will do but when you get a bit more discerning, you start to look for a little more from a vehicle.
However, sometimes the car of your dreams is just a little out of reach, and that’s when life can get a bit frustrating. For many people, settling for a lesser vehicle just isn’t an option, and for a number of reasons. A may be what the doctor ordered.
There is a good reason why financing is lucrative option. Once you have repaid all the loan, the car is yours. You have full ownership of the vehicle and that makes motor vehicle financing a great investment.
Financing makes affording a car easier for most people, but it’s important to come prepared before taking out a car loan. Here are a few things you should know:
- By spreading the payments over time, you can drive away in the car of your dreams and pay for it over time. When the payments are complete, the car is yours to enjoy or do with as you please, including selling it.
- Your credit score is the most important factor in determining how good of a loan you can get from a lender, especially with regards to the .
- It’s always best to be pre-approved for your loan before even going to a dealer, and that’s because a financing offer from a bank or lender guarantees that you have a loan to cover the cost of your desired car, giving you additional leverage in negotiating.
- The APR rate (AKA car loan interest rate) only has a small effect on the amount you pay each month. The total car loan amount you need, the size of down payment, and the loan term (the repayment time) are more important factors.
- During the loan period, the car is yours to look after. Because of this, you would have invested good money in an asset that is sellable at some point in the future.
Good investments are not always just about money. They are also about peace of mind and satisfaction. With the right planning, taking the financing route could result in you spending less (perhaps thousands of dollars less) on your vehicle.
Your car loan doesn’t necessarily have to be big, nor your car loan interest rate high. Plus, you’ll be building a strong credit and finance history to carry with you for future transactions.
Important Tips for Negotiating With Used Cars Dealers
Japanese cars are famous all around the world for their durability, consistency, quality and innovative features. With new models launching every now and then, prices for new cars have gone up drastically. Majority of the people cannot afford a new car and therefore the next best alternative is to get a used car from a used car dealer at a very reasonable price.
The biggest advantage a used car has over a new one is price. Most of the new cars lose as much as 60 percent of their value in the first year of its ownership. When this is coupled to a low down payment and a long term loan, it leaves a lot of people disheartened when it is time to trade off. One way to escape this situation is to purchase a used car instead of a new one. But be well aware that buying a used car is a very different experience than buying a new one. There are several different factors that would influence the price of a used car. Here are a few tips that you should know when negotiating with a used car dealer to get the best deal.
One of the biggest mistake that people make while shopping for a used car is buying on impulse. This problem can be avoided by using the internet and looking up for cars that fall in your budget and are as per your requirements. The best way to get started is to look for local used car dealer websites. Another common way is to make a visit to the local car lots physically. This helps car buyers to get a feel for what is available without the hassle of talking to a salesperson. Once you have decided on the car make and model, next is to figure out whether it is worth the price.
There are two different types of car pricings you need to know- retail and wholesale. The retail price is the anticipated price a dealer is going to charge. The trade-in price, also known as a wholesale price is the price the dealer likely paid for the car in question. It is important to know both of these as you would want to negotiate for a fair price which will be somewhere in between them.
Stand Your Ground
The other most common blunder people make is by compromising too much when purchasing a car. For example, by focusing on monthly payments rather than the purchase price. Never disclose the dealer what your current payments are and what you think you can afford. The financing shall be conferred only after the final price has been agreed. Before you confirm the deal, you should know the worth of the car and what you want to pay. When it is time to negotiate the price, don’t back off. Once the sales representative gets you to agree on one thing, they know they can get you to agree on more. Always remember you are the one paying them, therefore you are in charge.
Be Prepared to Walk Away
Be very clear about what your spending limits are before you go to purchase a used car. If something is not falling within your limits, don’t hesitate to go somewhere else. This hints the sales person that you are very serious about your price range and if they want your money, they need to match your terms. Leave them your and wait for a couple of day for them to get in touch. If they don’t, then purchase from another car dealer. Do not let the salesperson drag you into a deal you cannot afford.
Therefore, purchasing a used car should not be an intimidating experience. By using these important tips and tricks, you should be able to negotiate a good deal from any used car dealer in your area.
Andy John is an award-winning author who has been working with , for more than a decade. He has been writing articles, newspaper stories, editorials, legal documents and blogs for different platforms. He’s best known for writing non-fiction, on subjects ranging from automobiles to astronomy to film.
Here’s Why Your Headlight Lenses Are Cloudy
Almost all automotive headlight lenses made within the last few decades are constructed from polycarbonate plastic, which is a popular clear, hard polymer that has allowed manufacturers great design flexibility. Basically, the material makes it possible to design a car’s headlight assemblies into any shape or form.
Unfortunately, polycarbonate, like most plastics, degrade over time and eventually become foggy. This is an obvious safety hazard considering that your headlight’s light output is absorbed by the cloudy lenses, causing vision at night to be degraded.
Why do they get cloudy?
The major reason why polycarbonate lenses get cloudy is due to their interaction with the sun’s ultra-violet (UV) radiation. Exposure to exhaust, salt, grime, oil and acid rain are several other facts that contribute to lens degradation, but UV light is the biggest culprit.
This has to do with the fact that the energy of UV radiation is close to the “disassociation energy” of the chemical bonds in the plastic, so over time, the plastic lenses start to chemically dissolve and become foggy over time.
Restoring Headlamp Lenses
The good news is that your lenses aren’t foggy all the way through, with only its outside layers being susceptible. That means, with the right materials and equipment, you can polish off the outer layer and restore the lenses to almost new condition. Here are three methods, from least aggressive to most aggressive, that should enable you to restore headlamp lenses to like-new condition:
Method 1: Using an AIO cleaner
Using an is the least aggressive method of restoration. Some AIOs consist of only a solvent, while others contain a solvent with a mild abrasive. You can find AIO headlight cleaners at your local auto parts store and online stores.
These products are all applied in a similar way, typically requiring you to apply a small amount of product to a foam applicator and then working the product until a fresh, clean plastic surface appears.
Method 2: Using a plastic polish
If using an AIO doesn’t deliver the desired results, a dedicated plastic polish might do the job. Most dedicated plastic polish contain ultra-fine abrasives that work to remove the top film-like layer of your lens to reveal the clear plastic below. Using such products is quite straightforward and can be done by hand or with an orbital buffer.
Method 3: Wet sanding and polishing
According to the detailers at , a local Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram dealer in Humble, TX, is the most aggressive method you can use. If you find wet sanding and polishing doesn’t work, then the car’s headlamp assembly will probably have to be replaced. You will need some fine-grit wet / dry sandpaper (1000 and 2000 grit). Fill a bucket with some water and soak the sandpaper in the bucket for about 15 minutes prior to starting.
Take the 1000 grit sandpaper and sand the lens, side-to-side, applying light to medium pressure. After this, take the 2000 grit sandpaper and sand the lens top-to-bottom, applying light to medium pressure… what you will notice is that the lens will appear to clear up a little… this is due to the finer grit sanding.
Finally, don’t attempt to polish the lens by hand; use an orbital buffer instead. Start with the more aggressive polish/pad combo and polish the lens thoroughly. Once done polishing, assess progress by wiping with a towel. Chances are you will have to polish a second time, but once you are done, move on to the less aggressive polish/pad combo. It may take some time but your lens will likely polish to a nice, clear finish.
Let us know if you have any questions in the comments below.