How do I find out if a car I am buying from a private party has not been in a accident or been stolen?

Asked on October 24, 2011 under General Practice, South Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

1) You can use CarFax or similar services that track such information.

2) If the person has the title to transfer to you and the car is registered in his name (you can look at the registration), that is good (not necessarily infallible, but good) evidence he was the owner. Also, if the car is insured in his name (you can ask to see the insurance card), that would be good evidence.

3) You can have the private person represent in writing, prior to closing the sale, that there has been no accidents and the car has not been stolen. If it later turns out that it was, you could hold him legally liable.


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