The mechanic will identify the VIN (vehicle identification number), but does not check the authenticity of the VIN, history, or title. When you find a car in which you’re interested, you need to determine whether there are major potential problems with the car.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
maintains a list of recalls and Technical Service Bulletins, which you may check regarding the car you have in mind for purchase. You'll want to know if the car has been in any accidents, failed smog checks, or had other past issues. You can check the history of the car on
, which takes data from insurance companies, shops, and other providers.