The glove box can host a treasure chest full of information. Don’t be afraid to explore in here and see what paper trail exists about the vehicle. Consider this About.Com’s version of CSI: Car Stuff Investigation.
- Look for the owner’s manual. It’s great if it’s still with the car. (Otherwise, you can always buy one on e-Bay.)
- If buying from a private owner, see if there are any maintenance records and inspection reports (if your state requires annual inspections). All cars need maintenance at some point in their lives. Just look to see if the same repair has been done over and over again.
- While inspecting the maintenance records make note of any mileage figures. Question any discrepancy with the odometer readings.
- Check the registration if it’s there. Be a detective. See if the vehicle identification number here matches the one on the vehicle. Make sure you’re buying the same car you’re looking at.