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The importance of vehicle background check
The second-hand car market is not as transparent as a buyer might imagine. Most owners want to sell a car as quickly as possible and may accidentally or deliberately hide its full history. It is in your interest to determine the condition of the car you are purchasing.
613 392 category M vehicles are registered with the Estonian Transport Administration!
Evidently, there are fewer brand new cars on the road and mostly pre-owned cars are being sold on the market. Many of these older vehicles are no longer under warranty. Be careful with your purchase!
Free background check at Maanteeamet
You can check the car details and the local history of the car for free in the Estonian register.
A free report provides a partial history of the vehicle: mileage, number of owners, inspection history, country of origin of the car, restrictions, technical data, period of validity of the inspection and insurance. Free reports are publicly available, but the information they provide may not be sufficient. The limited amount of information in such reports is due to access to the Estonian database only.
Benefits of paid vehicle history check
Regardless of whether the vehicle is imported or local, we encourage you to use the paid report. A complete VIN report has access to closed sources, is collected from the databases of many countries and contains the maximum possible and useful information about the car of interest.
Vehicle maintenance history
A car is only as good as its service history. The report shows all documented dates of maintenance for the vehicle.
Hidden defects report
Buying a car with hidden defects can turn out to be expensive in the future.
Complete information in one report
The history of cars bought abroad is difficult to trace. You get all the data in one report and save time.
Common vehicle model breakdowns
We are not all automotive gurus. A list of common faults of a particular car model will help you make the right buying decision.
The information is presented in a clear and coherent way and does not contain any complicated technical terms, so it is easy for everyone to understand.
Knowing how the car looked in the past will help you better understand its history, general condition, possible damage and other changes.
The vehicle history report contains the following information
Payments for insured events
Number of owners
History of vehicle advertisements
Archival photos of the car
Nearest service date
VIN number location
Frequent model breakdowns and factory reviews
By purchasing a report, you can save thousands of euros by not buying a bad car in the first place.
Buy smart on the secondary market
Finding the right used car can be a laborious process. It is important to decide for yourself how much you plan to spend on the purchase of a car, as well as how much its maintenance will cost you in the future.
You should decide on the size and class of the desired car, type of fuel and gearbox. It is also important where you live and where you mostly travel. Long off-road trips are difficult with a small car and a weak engine. If necessary, we advise you to consult with a specialist who will select a car according to your requests.
Before meeting with the seller
Find the vehicle that suits you and contact the seller. When calling a seller, in addition to arranging a meeting, you can ask a few questions in advance:
- Where is the car from?
- How long has the car been used by the last owner?
- Does the vehicle have a documented maintenance history?
- Does the vehicle currently have known faults?
- Can the seller provide the VIN code of the vehicle?
- Take a careful look at the entire body of the car (check for dents, scratches, chips and rust), the car interior, the luggage compartment and, if possible, inspect the bottom.
- One of the easiest things to notice is oil leaks.
- Be sure to check the working condition of all electrical equipment (windows, central locking, alarm, air conditioning, stereo, seat heating, etc.)
- In addition to visual inspection of the car, it is necessary to take a test drive. During the test drive, turn off the music and focus on listening to all kinds of sounds. The test run should be as long as possible and in different conditions (city, highway, poor and bumpy road, etc.)
- Check the tire surface for uneven wear, which may indicate a suspension malfunction.
Checking car mechanics
If you think you have found a suitable vehicle, you should take it to a vehicle inspection center or dealership. The mechanic can determine if the car has any damage or defect. This is a paid service, but it avoids high repair costs in the future.
Check who sells the car you're interested in, whether it's a legal entity or an individual. Ask how the car was used and what is the reason for selling. It is generally recommended to buy from a car dealership, as this will give you more options to protect your rights in case of possible problems. It is also worth clarifying whether the seller gives a guarantee for the product.
When in doubt, consider other options on the market
The practice of hiding accident history is a common problem for buyers in Estonia. Protect yourself from fraud by finding out beforehand about possible damage that happened in the past and making sure that the car is technically sound with a documented service history. With the help of free services, you can collect primary information and draw basic conclusions about the vehicle. However, this is far from all the data necessary for making the right purchasing decision, since complete databases are not available to ordinary users. We recommend using a paid report with full information and history for the car you are considering in order to enjoy a comfortable ride without wasting time on fixing hidden faults.