Sunday, September 21, 2008

Car Vin Number Checks, update 1

Thanks for the comments and emails!

lots of nice finds to report on, as well as some clean (ish) cars.


The first comment I got concerned a Mercedes that seemed too good to be true.

  • The carfax check revealed that it had been in a serious front end collision just twenty days after it was registered, and subsequently written off by the insurance company in the states.
  • Prior to being exported it passed a state mandated safety check before being issued a salvage title and being exported direct to Oman.

  • Because it passed a safety inspection, and was a direct export to Oman it might have been an OK buy, pending a careful check of the frame.

I was asked to check on Two Jeep Wranglers via comments and Email

  • Both checked out OK, they were never registered in the states, and were exported direct to the UAE within months of manufacture. Likely sold direct from manufacturer to dealer in the UAE or here.

  • Until recently, Jeep sems not to have gotten on the Arabic bandwagon with regard to rear view mirrors.

I got an email from a Dave, asking about two cars which are located at Cars Dubai near Lulu

  • First up a 2004 DODGE RAM 1500 , Vin #ST1D7HA16K64J289552

  • The car had one owner, and was originally sold and registered in Louisiania

  • No accidents, however.....

  • It was a victim of the flooding during hurricane Rita and Katrina, and declared a total loss.

  • Additionally, as with many similar cars the vehicle was issued a NAM or Not Actual Milage certificate.

  • This is because the flood would have wiped out the computer on the car, thus erasing the 10,000 Miles that were on the clock.

  • It was exported from Houston TX to Oman.

  • Hope the price they are asking is Low!

Also From Dave, and also at Cars Dubai,


  • A sexy little 2003 Nissan 350Z Vin # JN1AZ34D03T110738

  • Problems abound on this one as well.

  • The Car was first registered in Florida, and initially had a happy life as evidenced by regular maintinance records.

  • I assume the owner moved to Texas or Louisiana shortly after the last maintinance recorded, and it was there that the car was totalled in the floods related to Hurricane Katrina.

  • It has a Salvage title and a NAM title.

  • Buyer beware!

From Amjad, who is looking for a car to purchase stateside at the moment

  • Amjad is considering a 2000 BMW 750IL VIN# WBAGJ0344YDD73430

  • Can I start by saying that I hate those cars. Save Yourself Amjad! Buy a Pickup!

  • If you must purchase a horrible BMW, then this is a good one on paper, with only one problem that I can see.

  • The car was very lightly driven during it's first four years of life. 37,000 miles between Owner's 1 and 2

  • Owner 3 has had the car for 5 years, and has never missed a service. Very impressive!

  • 13 months ago the car was involved in a moderate front end colission. The colision was not significant enough for the airbags to deploy.

  • Verdict: a good car, pending a quick inspection of the frame and front end.

Also From Amjad, A sexier car with little background information

  • 1996 Nissan Maxima Vin #JN1CA21DXTT155510

  • The car was registered in a county declared a flood disaster area by FEMA. A full inspection for flood damage should be carried out.

  • There is no record of a salvage title, flood title, or NAM title being issued for the car. This could mean that it was not affected by the Hurricanes, or could mean that the Owner did not have comprehensive insurance and so fixed the vehicle himself.

  • The car was sold at auction, possibly to a dealer, and either sold on to another owner or stayed on the lot for the next 11 months

  • The guy Amjad is considering buying the car from has owned it for less than four months.

  • There are no service records available for this car via carfax, though perhaps the guy selling it has them.

  • Procede with caution, and ask for service records!

Later in the week, a report on a couple of cars I am considering purchasing, and an Honesty test for a couple of dealers who have been less than truthfull with me in the past.

Keep the Vin #'s coming, along with any details on the who where and what

6 comments:

muscati said...

Amjad - do not buy a used BMW. BMWs are great cars but only if you one new with a nice manufacturer's warranty. They are not the most reliable cars in the world. They are solid, well built, and all that. But things do tend to stop working in them, especially the electronics. And because they are so high tech, it's not as easy to get them fixed without taking them to the dealer for repairs which costs you an arm and a leg.

I've had a 5 series for close to 10 years, and here I am now with yet another bimmer. But I would never buy one used.

Amjad said...

Muscati: I've been hearing the same thing from different people. They say it's either a new BMW or no BMW at all.

car olina said...

Suburban. Have you missed your calling? You could be a detective.

L_Oman said...

Subs - what website can I go to if I want to buy one of these cars from the states?

Suburban said...

I HATED the BMW we borrowed after the cyclone. Seriously, it put me off BMW's for life. and Muscati's right, everything was falling apart on it. It was a race against time to return it to the guy before anything else fell off.

L_Oman,

Start with www.exporttrader.com

you need to register and pay a deposit which is a hassle, but they do auction to your door delivery.

Better is to have a relative in the states buy the car you want for you and ship it over. You can save quite a lot off the sticker price of Newer SUV's that way, but you'll loose the warranty.

:)

Andy Volodin said...

Here's the universal VIN decoder. For some brands it even shows factory options.