Once again I am looking for a used vehicle, this time for our youngest daughter (and let me tell you I hope this is the LAST time I have to do this for a very long time!!!). I always purchase one of the VIN check report options and have used both Carfax and Autocheck to allow me to research unlimited VINs for a period of 30 days or so (Carfax's terms may have changed recently from my last purchase.) Neither Carfax or Autocheck is cheap, but relatively speaking it's a small price to pay to help you learn as much as you can about the vehicle you are thinking of purchasing. You might be surprised at what you find on these reports; there are lots and lots of dishonest people/dealers out there that don't give a rat's rear about you or your kid and whether the vehicle is safe or not. They just want the $$. I have also purchased from companies that sell VIN checks individually for 1 or 2 dollars. If you have your search narrowed down to 1 or 2 vehicles these are a good deal. I find that Carfax reports are more thorough than Autocheck but they do cost more. Neither of these is an absolute guarantee that your vehicle has no problems but they can help you weed out questionable things that can be a deal-breaker for you. After previously purchasing Autocheck reports, the first time I used Carfax I ran the VINs on all our vehicles to see if there were differences reported (there were) and found Carfax reports always have more info than Autocheck. That is how I found out my own vehicle had been wrecked before we bought it. Autocheck missed it and guess what, the dealer "forgot" to mention that! Imagine that. You will find ads or sites that say "free VIN check." These will get you info that simply states that the VIN you give is for a 2012 Chevy 1500 (or whatever) but you won't get anything more for free. (At least not that I have found in my many hours spent on these the past few years. If you know of something that does do that for free please, share and I will happily admit being wrong!!) If you are looking to purchase from a dealer many buy the reports in bulk so ask them for a copy and that will save you a few bucks. Just sharing in hopes this helps someone else! If anyone can add to this please do so. Both Carfax and Autocheck show samples of the info you'll get on a report. Read the fine print! CARFAX AutoCheck Vehicle History Reports Homepage - A Part of Experian.