How to Tell if Your Car Has Been In An Accident Jun 26, 2015 Auto News SuperUser Account Has your Used Car Been in an Accident? Although many accidents occur, most cars can be restored after a serious collision. So, how can you tell if your used car has been in an accident? Read the following six tips to help you, before you buy a used car. 1. Check the Used Car History Record One way to filter out which used car you should buy is by checking the used car history record. The used car history report will show you whether the used car you are looking to purchase has been in a serious accident. It will also provide you with a list of past owners, insurance information and any other accident reports or claims involving the used car. 2. Carefully Inspect the Used Car Another way to see if the used car has been in an accident is to inspect the car for any signs of previous accidents. You can do this by examining both ends of the vehicle and look for any cracks or patched areas. Examine the panel and door gaps, while also feeling the body for filler spots. Breakage or repair to the fender or bumper is a good indicator of further car accident damage. Also, inspect the used car's body lines. An uneven line indicates that the body panels of the car have been replaced or hammered out due to car damage. 3. Check the Windshield Look at all of the windows and the front and back windshields of the used car to check for accident damage. Pay special attention to any chips, cracks or webbing. This could indicate that the car was involved in a collision. 4. Check for Clamp Marks Clamp marks around the frame of the car indicate that the used car has been on a frame machine, so the car has most likely sustained damage that required major repairs post collision. 5. Look for Repainting Look closely along the edges of the used car's doors and body panels for any nicks, scratches or uneven paint areas. Signs of different color paint underneath could mean that the car has been repainted after an accident. It could also mean that a door or panel was replaced and repainted to match the rest of the car. 6. Have a Professional Look at the Used Car Lastly, when in doubt, have a professional look at the used car. Even if you have completed all of the above steps, it is wise to have the used car properly inspected by a knowledgeable mechanic or used car inspector.