Advocating for a VIN number check is more than fear mongering, as a glance at the stolen car figures in the country must beg the question: where do they all end up? Many certainly cross our borders destined for elsewhere on the continent and beyond, but a huge percentage get resold right here in sunny South Africa, clearly to people who didn’t do a stolen car check before buying. Doing a VIN number check when buying a used car in South Africa has become more than a snazzy benefit, it’s become baseline practice. A VIN number check affords you the security of knowing, beyond a doubt.
Things like childrens’ whereabouts, mortgage rates, poisonous plants and stolen goods are some of the things in life around which there’s no substitute for absolute knowing. Doing a VIN number check on any secondhand car is a lot more than commonsense too, as a stolen car check comes with a host of other details that simply make your knowledge complete.
Low statistics on people getting ripped off without a stolen car check are zero comfort when it happens. A VIN number check is the one tool that will highlight any discrepancies for used car shoppers, and save you a huge heartache. More than handy, a VIN number check should be considered essential for any used car purchase.
How do thieves usually con people?
- Thieves will often present a legitimately registered car, for sale, except that they don’t own it! They will forge the Natis certificate itself on an otherwise legit car. A VIN number check will illuminate any discrepancies across paperwork.
- Apart from the Natis certificate, many thieves forge all of the paperwork, including the windscreen disc, hoping you don’t do a VIN number check. Wouldn’t you know it, many people don’t do a VIN number check. Those that do, will find that the VIN number doesn’t tally with all of the other details, and should start walking away politely and immediately.
- Thieves or their frontmen will also tell you that a stolen car is a rebuild and that there are no registration papers yet. They’ll insist that you take some stamped, handwritten paperwork in and get it registered. Very often the car has indeed been resprayed at least, in order to disguise it for sale, but a VIN number check will help you here too, highlighting colour discrepancies.
- The most sophisticated are crime rings that have inside help, where documents can be obtained for a price, putting a stolen car on the road again. Even here, a VIN number check can highlight discrepancies and alert you to the possibility that something is wrong. Guaranteed, there will be an error somewhere in the paperwork and, if you subject the car to a microdot scan, things will fall apart. Indeed, thieves will never allow it to get that far, and will typically end the deal somehow to avoid detection.
Quite apart from the sense of knowing a stolen car check gives, there are innumerable other benefits to using a VIN number checking tool. The security of legality is where it starts, but there are a host of details that form a complete picture that you’ll get with a VIN number check that vary from “nice to know” to absolutely essential.
- Get informed by knowing if a used car is listed as wanted by the South African Police Service (SAPS).
- The car’s trade, retail and market value is included in a stolen car check, snippets of intel that simply differentiate informed buyers from those who like to wing it on major purchases.
- All of the car’s specifications are correct as you view them. Example: the seller says the car is a VW Polo Vivo 1.4, that this is indeed the model.
- The current finance status of the car, an arena that requires its own admin.
- The VIN number check report also defines the car’s “propulsion type,” something often glossed over by simply noting that there is, indeed, an engine beneath the hood! This is important intel, however, as if propulsion type differs in reality from that derived of a stolen car check, there must at least be additional invoices and registration paperwork from when the car got a new engine. A VIN number check is a comprehensive tool, and all details are there for a reason and go towards an overall correct picture.
- Another simple aspect to a sale car is its colour and possibly listed features. If a VIN number check highlights incorrect colours or missing features, it’s time to start asking serious questions. Thieves will often cleverly try to sell a “cream” car as “white.” Don’t gloss over any excuses nor start to doubt yourself if the colour in front of you clearly differs from that stated in the VIN number check report.
- A VIN number check will also tell you if a car has been microdotted or not. If it is so imprinted and you have doubts about it, get it confirmed with a local service center’s scan. A stolen car check not only ensures you’re on the right sight of the law, it’ll keep you one step ahead of scammers too.
The simplest and most convenient way to glean a detailed car history check is via the Wheel Index car value tool. Our reports cover some 30 data pints of intel on any South African car, and the process and results are super fast.
All of our intel comes from system-captured data from a host of reliable sources that are also the diversity required to generate such a detailed report. Our car history check page also has a sample report displayed, so that you can see the intel our reports provide.
Don’t buy a stolen used car!
Don’t forget, a successful car thief will tell you the moon’s a balloon with a straight face. They will try to trade on the fact that many people still don’t do a VIN number check. They’ll often try to trade on your implied stupidity because you “don’t know the law,” or otherwise make light of incorrect paperwork. There’s no such thing as incorrect paperwork. There’s only correctly completed, consistent paperwork, and scams
We all know the saying that “Possession is nine tenths of the law.” Well, don’t expect pity if you’re found in possession of a stolen car simply because you didn’t do a VIN number check. That said, the police aren’t idiots and even a preliminary look at you in possession of a stolen car should tell them that you’re a victim, not the thief.
You can, however, expect a bit of grief over it and might have to spend some time making a statement at least. You probably won’t be arrested, but no one will really give a hoot for your loss either. Statistics are sketchy, but it’s likely that most who are cheated with a stolen car never see that money again. It’s so important to check each detail on a sale car. Doing a stolen car check will simply make that process so much easier. You will also be able to cross check the exact specifications of the car you are interested in buying, including the engine number from VIN number check report, so don’t skimp on this.
It’s a persistent Wheel Index theme - make sure there are no discrepancies in a sale car’s paperwork. All paperwork snippets need to correspond with each other and the car in front of you. A VIN number check goes straight to the heart of all details on the car, making it almost impossible for you not to pick up on any discrepancies. Even one is unacceptable, and a stolen car check will present you with all the needed information to pick it up.
VIN numbers are the heart of motoring security
A VIN number check is so much more, and yet also essential and sufficient in and of itself. Especially in South Africa, where there are let’s say noticeable car theft statistics, a VIN number check should be part and parcel of any thinking shoppers toolkit.
Remember the essential benefit of a VIN number check: that it gives you all of the information you need to identify a car, all in one place. It’s not “cool” to be cavalier about a used car purchase - that’s the safety of you and yours you’re looking at - it’s just risky and potentially wasteful. When a VIN number check gives you so much for so little, we strongly recommend you always get it done when out shopping for your next used car.