Why buying a car you love isn't always a great idea

Where Can I Find the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number)?

The vehicle identification number (VIN) is composed of 17 characters (digits and capital letters) that act as a unique identifier for the vehicle. A VIN displays the car's unique features, specifications and manufacturer.

The VIN can be found in a couple of places including on the car's registration label (1), on the compliance plate in the engine bay (2) or on the passenger side windshield (3), or on one of the door posts (where the door latches when it is closed) (4). See the image below:

Look for the VIN in these other locations:

  • Insurance card/Insurance policy
  • Vehicle title and registration certificate


Do you remember your childhood dream car? It might have been something you saw James Bond driving, or the main car in your favourite TV show. Car enthusiasts everywhere will know the feeling of being in love with a car for no apparent reason. All you need is cool looks and you'll be hooked.

However, with many car manufacturers remaking their classics to suit modern demands, you might be tricked into thinking that your dream car is going to be perfect for your family. That is not necessarily the case, no matter what the car is or how many people you'll need to fit inside.

Before you make that final decision to buy, you need to look beyond your emotional connection to the vehicle.

As with any used car purchase, you should make sure there is nothing lurking in its history with a CarHistory report. Before you make that final decision to buy though, you need to look beyond your emotional connection to the vehicle.

Why your dream car isn't always the best one for you

Buying a car means narrowing down your options so that it suits your needs perfectly. It requires you to consider things like how you'll use the car, how many people you need to transport, what your budget is and your average fuel costs for the year.

A family with two kids isn't going to do well if the Ford GT is the only car in the garage - two-door cars in general don't really suit kids! At the same time, you likely won't need a Land Rover Defender 130 with bench seats if you're the only one who's ever going to be in the car. Even if it's your dream car, it might not be practical, or affordable in the long run, making it a poor purchase.

Your dream car needs to suit your family as well as fulfilling your childhood fantasies.


Simply buying a car because it represents fun is risky as well. If you want something to be fun, it shouldn't be a major hassle every time you turn the key in the ignition. If the engine doesn't turn over because it's unreliable or it needs mechanical work, you'll be on the phone to the mechanic more often than you'll be behind the wheel. Your dream car might look amazing and remind you of your childhood, but it could also be a complete waste of money and time.

What factors do you need to consider before you buy?

Out of all the factors you might think about before you buy a car, the practicality of it is likely the most important (aside from the cost). You can buy a dream car for very little money, but it could still be a total waste because it's not practical and you never drive it.

Before settling on a new purchase, make sure you think about the following factors1:

  • What will you use the car for? Will it primarily be for commuting or weekend driving, or will you need it to tow a boat?
  • How many people need to fit? If you have kids, you should make sure they'll be comfortable in the back (if there is a back seat at all).
  • How much fuel will the car use? It needs to fit into your budget, but that doesn't stop at the purchase price of the car. Fuel costs add up quickly, especially in a thirsty V8.
  • Does it suit where you live? A low-slung hot hatch with a front-wheel-drive drivetrain won't be practical on a farm, just like an enormous ute won't be practical if you live in an apartment building.

Dream cars are nice fantasies, but that's often what they should remain. Don't get caught up in buying your dream car just because it's on the market and it has low mileage - it might not be as much fun to own as you always thought.

For more information about buying your next used car, make sure you get in touch with CarHistory today.

1. CosmoBC. Driven to Buy - The 5 Fundamentals of Buying Your Dream Car. Accessed May 2017.

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