Ever heard someone say, “I’m taking a shot in the dark”? It essentially means making a decision or acting based on unsubstantiated information and without a clue of what the outcome would be.

In our four-wheeled world, we often take shots in the dark (sometimes even without realising it), especially with vehicle maintenance. Whether it’s purchasing OEM tyres that we’ve never heard of or opting for a new workshop, we do it either for cost or convenience reasons. One of the scariest leaps of faith in the automotive space though has to be purchasing a used car.

It’s like blind dating; the anticipation to meet someone new from dating apps may be exciting but the outcome could be a complete nightmare. The same can be true when purchasing a used car – it’s just elating to be in the phase of browsing through the different models and options.

Here’s the thing – unlike an unpleasant date that only lasts for several hours, purchasing a vehicle with poor maintenance records or worse, with a history of major damage or even theft, could leave you stuck. That’s one problem you can’t walk away from as easily. We’ve heard of both such stories, haven’t we?

While the rapid growth and use of online platforms to buy and sell used cars may have opened up a wider range of options to consumers, it might have also given the headache (albeit a good one) of having too many to choose from.

You’re now taking that shot in the dark – while also being blindfolded as you balance on a pole with one foot – using a gun that fires both ways. It’s not like it’s any easier buying a new car these days if that’s the solution you’re offering, with long waiting lists everywhere you look.

This has driven many to turn to used or reconditioned cars and demand for them appear to be higher than ever. The Malaysian Automotive Association is expecting used car sales to grow by nearly 12% this year, from 428,000 units sold last year to 480,000 units in 2022.

It is therefore crucial to arm a potential used or reconditioned car buyer with a dependable and user-friendly tool to better understand a car’s history and background before they pull the trigger. Now that you could be paying more money for a used car, wouldn’t it be catastrophic to buy one that’s plagued with (underlying) problems? That shot in the dark has bounced off the wall and hit you where it really hurts – your wallet.

In offering more transparency to the matter, one-stop online platforms such as the CTOS Vehicle Check helps shed light on everything you need to know about a vehicle’s origins, history and condition. Not limited to used cars within Malaysia, it can also reveal all the skeletons in the closet of a reconditioned car, whether it’s from Japan or the UK.

Samples of vehicle history and auction reports of vehicles from Japan

It’s not rocket science either. Simply key in the vehicle’s VIN or chassis number and its country of origin and the system will be able to produce a report in a matter of seconds. Checks on vehicles from Japan may take up to 24 hours – additional time for you to properly ponder over your potential purchase.

What you don’t have to ponder over anymore is the legitimacy of the vehicle’s mileage on the odometer – a common symptom shared by most used car buyers in Malaysia. Those days are as good as over as reports on reconditioned vehicles originating from Japan via the CTOS Vehicle Check can lay bare a range of information.

Basic information such as the vehicle’s Japanese auction sheet can be acquired while opting for a more comprehensive report reveals the vehicle’s true mileage and factory specifications along with its accident, insurance coverage and repair history throughout past ownerships. Even details on manufacturer recalls and airbag deployment can’t be hidden anymore.

Samples of vehicle history and auction reports of vehicles from the UK

For vehicles originating from the UK, mainly luxury and high-performance vehicles of custom specification, the CTOS Vehicle Check can put doubts on the vehicle’s originality to rest. Aside from the vehicle’s tax, MOT and ownership history, the report will also disclose detailed information such as the vehicle’s dimensions, engine capacity and output.

In case you’re wondering, MOT is short for Ministry of Transport in the UK and tests conducted by the MOT usually focus on vehicle roadworthiness. Cars over three years old in the UK are required to take annual MOT tests, failing which would make the car illegal for the road. These intricate reports by the MOT on UK-imported vehicles including defects and damages throughout their lifespan are also available in reports via the CTOS Vehicle Check platform.

If you’re really into the details, you can now even find out if your UK-imported vehicle has had a colour change or even a number plate change. Now, if only screening a potential date was that easy.

Reports on the CTOS Vehicle Check platform starts from RM6 for used cars originating from Malaysia, RM49.99 for vehicles from Japan and RM25.99 for vehicles from the UK. Click here to find out more!