How to Check the Accident History of a Vehicle in India

Rahul Jha
Rahul Jha

Updated on: 10th February, 2024 IST

accidental car

The path to buying a new vehicle is often riddled with crossroads. A new car or a used car? An SUV or a Sedan? A Volkswagen or a Hyundai? The permutations and combinations can be as many as you like! There's so much to do and such little time to get it done. But, if you're in the market for a used car, like Neo in "The Matrix," you need to know the truth before you take the red pill and make a purchase. 

The process of checking a vehicle’s accident history in India is quite exhilarating. Does your vehicle have a shady past, or is it just as sweet as the next Harry Styles album? The questions are endless, right? 

In this blog, I'll guide you through the process of checking a vehicle's accident history in India, so you can drive off into the sunset with peace of mind, knowing that your new ride is as reliable as an Anurag Kashyap film.

What is an Accidental Vehicle?

A vehicle that has been involved in one or more accidents, typically resulting in damage to the vehicle's overall structure or frame, is referred to as an accidental vehicle. There could have been a lot of reasons behind the accident, like a head-on collision, a rear-end collision, accidents caused by drunk or distracted driving, or a minor fender-bender. These accidents might result in small to severe damages.

When a particular vehicle is involved in an accident, the insurance company assesses the damage and determines whether the vehicle is still repairable or salvageable or if it is considered a total loss. In cases where the repair cost exceeds the vehicle's value, the insurance company declares the car a total loss and pays the owner the vehicle's fair market value. 

In cases where the vehicle is declared a total loss, the insurance company takes possession and sells it to a scrapyard. The yard then sends the car for refurbishment or trades the scrap for money.

If a vehicle gets into an accident, it is important to ensure that all the repairs have been done correctly and that the vehicle is safe for current or prospective drivers. It is also equally important to note that an accidental vehicle may have a lower resale value than a vehicle that has not been in an accident, even if the repairs have been done correctly and to an extent where they are barely noticeable.

If you are considering buying an accidental vehicle, it is recommended to have a professional mechanic inspect the vehicle thoroughly to ensure that the repairs were done correctly and that the vehicle is still safe to drive. It is also recommended to check the vehicle's accident history before purchasing so that you are aware of any existing or potential issues.

Learn More: How To Sell An Accidental Car in India?

How to Check the Accident History of a Vehicle in India?

Checking the accident history of a vehicle is one of the most important steps in the process of purchasing a used car. It is essential to know the vehicle's past to ensure you're not buying a car with a history of accidents or other issues that could affect its safety or performance. 

Here are the steps you should take to check the accident history of a vehicle in India:

Ask the Owner

  • Speak to the current owner if you're buying directly from them
  • Some owners may be willing to share information about their cars

Checking the History

  • Obtain the car's VIN (Vehicle Identification Number)
  • Ask the service centre or dealer for any insurance claims against the vehicle
  • Note that some manufacturers might be hesitant to share this information

Consult the Experts

  • Have the car inspected by a trusted mechanic or automotive expert
  • Mechanics can identify hidden issues that might not be visible to you

Bumper Examination

  • Pay close attention to the car's bumper
  • Insurance claims often result in bumper replacements, but the quality of repair can vary
  • Look for signs of major damage or inconsistencies in the bumper's appearance

Panel Gaps

  • Inspect all the car's panels for uniformity in design
  • Noticeable gaps between panels could indicate a past accident that wasn't properly repaired

Paint Analysis

  • Carefully examine the car's paint, ideally in natural sunlight
  • Repainted panels may have uneven paint or subtle differences compared to the original ones
  • Repainted surfaces may conceal prior internal damages

Underbody Inspection

  • If possible, take the car to a workshop for a thorough underbody check
  • Alternatively, use a flashlight to inspect the underbody for rust or salt build-up
  • Feel for weak parts or excessive rust, which might indicate an accident or chassis damage

Windshield Scrutiny

  • Examine the windshield for cracks or damage
  • Compare the windshield's serial number to those on other windows
  • Different serial numbers may suggest a windshield replacement due to an accident

Creased Surfaces

  • Open the car's hood and inspect all joints for creased or bent surfaces
  • Creased surfaces could indicate that a part was damaged in an accident and not properly repaired
  • Check screws and bolts for consistency; new-looking ones may raise questions about replacements

Engine Bay Investigation

  • After checking the body and exterior, move to the engine bay
  • A clean engine bay alongside issues in the body might indicate extra attention to the engine due to prior problems
  • Such discrepancies could suggest the owner's desire to sell the car quickly

Pro Tip: If you do not like the idea of having to go through this excruciating process, you can buy your next car from CARS24. We boast one of India's finest collections of pre-owned cars, meticulously inspected across 140+ parameters. This means you won't need to worry about any of these concerns.

What's more, with free doorstep delivery and a breezy 7-day return window, the whole experience becomes not just enjoyable but also incredibly hassle-free! Go ahead! Give it a try! 

Learn More: 10 Engine Maintenance Tips – Must For A Good Car Care

Why Should You Check The Vehicle Accident History?

Why check anything anyway? Why take your temperature when you're feeling sick? Why taste the soup you've been brewing for your partner since the afternoon? Why wear a helmet when you're taking your bike for a spin? Because it's the wise thing to do! 

Here are some of the most important reasons to check the accident history of a vehicle: 

  • Safety

A vehicle that has been in an accident may have suffered unseen damages that might affect its safety and reliability on the road. This includes damages to the tyres, frame, suspension, or other components that could make the vehicle unsafe to drive. A thoroughly conducted accident history check ensures that you are not buying a car that could potentially put you and your passengers at risk.

  • Insurance

Some insurance companies may charge higher premiums for vehicles that have been in an accident, or they may completely refuse to insure them. Therefore, if your vehicle has a history of accidents, it's important to check with your insurance company for their policy in such cases.

  • Resale Value

An accidental vehicle usually comes with a lower resale value than a vehicle that has not been in an accident, even if the repairs have been done correctly. Conventionally, this is a significant factor to consider when purchasing a vehicle, as it could affect the overall value of the car over time.

  • Maintenance

An accidental vehicle may have suffered unseen damages that could affect its overall longevity and maintenance costs over time. By checking the accident history of a vehicle, you can ensure that you are not buying a car that will require expensive repairs or maintenance in the future.

  • Legal Requirements

In some countries, like the United States of America and Canada, it is a legal requirement to disclose any accident history when selling a vehicle. That is not the case in India. Therefore, it is important to check for the accident history of a vehicle before purchasing to ensure that you are aware of any potential issues with the vehicle and that the seller is following the legal requirements.

Where To Check The Accident History Record?

In India, there are several places where you can check the accident history of a vehicle before making a purchase. Some of the most common places include:

Visit the Authorised Service Centre

  • Start by visiting the authorised service centre where the seller claims to have serviced the vehicle
  • Request the service records, which can provide insights into maintenance and repairs
  • Look for signs of frequent accidents or major repairs

Contact the Insurer

  • Reach out to the vehicle's insurer to inquire about any past insurance claims related to accidents or damages
  • This can reveal valuable information about the vehicle's history, including accident records, flood damage, and insurance claims

In conclusion, checking the accident history of a vehicle in India is a crucial step in the process of purchasing a used car. It's like solving a Rubik's cube for the first time. In the beginning, the process might appear to be a long and tiring one, but the knowledge is going to come in handy the next time. 

In the end, knowing the accident history of a vehicle will not only save you from some of the potential safety hazards but also from any legal or financial losses in the future. Once you know the accidental history of your vehicle, you can have your chin up and your eyes on the road. Godspeed! 


1 .How do I obtain the vehicle registration number in India?

The registration number can be found on the registration certificate (RC) of the vehicle or the number plate of the car.

2. Can I check the accident history of a vehicle in India on any RTO website?

No, you can not check the accident history of a vehicle on the official website of the Regional Transport Office (RTO).

3. Is it possible to check the accident history of a vehicle on private websites in India?

Yes, you can visit the authorised service centre or contact the insurer to check the accident history of a vehicle.

4. Is it mandatory to disclose accident history when selling a vehicle in India?

It depends on the laws of the particular state. While some states require accident history to be disclosed when selling a vehicle, others do not. It's important to check with the local authorities to avoid future conflicts.

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