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What Is Vehicle Title Washing, And How Can You Identify Them?
Car title washing refers to the fraudulent practice of altering a vehicle’s title to conceal its true history. It is typically done to make a car appear more valuable or to hide previous damage or other issues. This deceptive tactic involves manipulating the title documentation to remove any negative information associated with the vehicle, such as salvage history or prior accidents. Identifying car title washing is crucial for buyers interested in purchasing used cars because it helps them avoid vehicles with hidden issues or compromised histories. Being aware of this problem can also help you secure used car financing without any problems.
What Types of Vehicles Are Usually Title Washed in Canada?
1. Vehicles damaged by flood, hail, or fire
2. Abandoned vehicles
3. Stolen vehicles
4. Salvaged vehicles
5. Tampered vehicles
6. Vehicles involved in a crime
How to Identify Vehicles With a Washed Title
The following steps can help you see signs of title washing.
Obtain a Vehicle History Report
Services like Carfax and Copart provide detailed reports ...
... about the car’s title history, accidents, repairs, and more. Look for any inconsistencies in the title history, such as frequent title transfers or changes in the title branding (e.g., from salvage to clean). An unusual title history can be a red flag for title washing.
Check the VIN
Every vehicle has a unique identification number (VIN), which is a digital fingerprint for the vehicle’s past. Verify if the VIN matches the one on the title. If there are any variabilities, title washing may be the cause. To ensure reliability, cross-check the VIN with the information presented in the Vehicle History Report (VHR).
Be Care of Out-of-Providence Cars
Some sellers use out-of-providence titles to conceal the vehicle’s history. To avoid these traps, research the title requirements and regulations in both the seller’s providence and your own. Also, carefully inspect the vehicle history report (VHR) for discrepancies between the providence’s and the car’s location history.
Inspect the Vehicle’s Physical Condition
A thorough physical inspection of the car can also reveal signs of title washing. Look for mismatched paint, uneven panel gaps, signs of rust, or areas of the vehicle that appear to have been repaired carelessly. These could be indicators that the car has undergone extensive repairs to cover up prior damage.
Check for Incomplete or Missing Documents
Always ask for the car’s service and repair records when buying a used car. If the seller cannot provide these documents or if they appear incomplete, they may be hiding information. Genuine and reliable sellers will always be willing to share information about the car’s maintenance and repair history.
Consult an Expert Mechanic
Before finalizing your purchase, take the car to a trusted mechanic for a pre-purchase inspection. A skilled mechanic can find hidden problems that might not be noticeable during a cursory examination. They can determine if the vehicle’s condition is consistent with its reported history.
Be Suspicious With Unusually Low Prices
Cars with a history of title washing are often priced lower than their market value to attract unsuspecting buyers. Exercise caution and conduct thorough research when encountering deals that appear too enticing.
Buying a second-hand car can be an excellent way to save money, but it comes with its fair share of risks. At CarEvo, we only deal with trusted and quality preowned cars in various brands and models that suit your budget. Our loan approval is quick and easy, even if you have bad credit or no credit history, and we offer low used car interest rates in Canada.
The author owns a car dealership in Dartmouth, Canada, and provides used car financing to customers with varying credit scores. To learn more about their services, visit https://carevo.ca/.
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