Here at Auto Credit Express, we're used to advising consumers about the dangers that can be hidden in used vehicles. That's why we always advocate for a pre-purchase inspection by a trusted mechanic, and a VIN check from a reputable source.

But what about car dealers – don't you face some of the same concerns when purchasing cars at auction and from trade-ins? Let's look at a few reasons dealers should perform VIN checks for theft when buying vehicles for their car lots.

Why a VIN Check for Theft?

Dealer VIN Checks for TheftAs a dealer, you have access to essentially the same tools that you might recommend a consumer use, such as CarFax, AutoCheck, and the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB). These services are essential to finding out if the used vehicles you're purchasing have washed or branded titles, originated from a flood region, or have been previously declared totaled or stolen.

One of the biggest proponents of getting VIN checks done is the NICB. Since their founding, the NICB has been raising public awareness with anti-fraud messages. According to their 2017 Annual Report "Taking Fraud by Storm," the NICB has spent the past 105 years protecting individuals and businesses from insurance fraud, and making them aware of theft. Historically, the information has been shared through newspapers, radio, and television, and now they pass it on through social media platforms, including YouTube.

Be on the Lookout for VIN Cloning

Just as consumers need to be vigilant about the cars they buy, so should dealers. To provide security for your business and sales staff, getting a VIN check done for all your vehicle purchases is important to ensure your dealership isn't a victim of scams, such as VIN cloning.

According to, VIN cloning has become the most common method of vehicle fraud. It happens when thieves replacing the VIN on a stolen car with that of a similar make and model that's legally registered. It can be difficult to detect a false VIN, which makes it that much more popular among car thieves.

The danger is that victims of this type of fraud are usually unaware of it, and, in most cases, they lose the vehicle once the cloning is discovered. If the cloned car was purchased from your lot, you're going to have to deal with proving to law enforcement that you weren't involved.

Providing Responsible Customer Service

We believe that, as a dealer, you have a responsibility to your customers and yourself to provide the best sales and service experience you can. This includes responsible buying practices. If you don't run VIN checks on each vehicle that ends up on your lot, you could end up selling those with washed titles or cloned VINs to your customers, which could severely damage your reputation.

Make sure to practice the best car buying policies you can, so that your reputation can continue to grow with each successful sale and satisfied customer.

At the same time, if you're looking for more customers to help move vehicles off your lot, Auto Credit Express can help. We've been a leading provider of subprime leads for 20 years, and we provide thousands of new and used car leads to dealers around the county. Get in on the action by calling 888-535-2277 to see what we can do for you. Or, fill out our online contact form, and we'll get back to you.