The Facts About Carfax
Recently, a friend and I were talking about cars. We stumbled upon the subject of Carfax- a well known vehicle history reporting platform that many rely on when they are in the market for a new (to them) vehicle. Mind you, she is quite brilliant, and when it comes to car stuff, she scores better than average. Nothing wrong with that, if you have a friend who knows a few things or a thousand about cars.
However, she was surprised when I told her that Carfax doesn’t always have the intel on a vehicle’s complete history. The information Carfax has and is able to provide to you, is limited to “reported” accidents, repairs, and maintenance. Right about now, you may be scratching your head asking, “Say what?”
I’m Marty Ruth, owner of Auto Appraisal Network – Detroit. I managed collision repair facilities in Michigan for more than thirty years. During that time, I learned that not all police departments, dealerships, body shops, or mechanical facilities report incidents and repairs to Carfax. While the majority of insurance claims are reported, oftentimes repairs paid for in cash don’t always get reported. Feeling a little shocked? Check it out for yourself:
This statement is the small print (ah, the small print) at the very bottom of the Carfax homepage:
“CARFAX Vehicle History products and services are based only on information supplied to CARFAX. CARFAX does not have the complete history of every vehicle. Use the CARFAX search as one important tool, along with a vehicle inspection and test drive, to make a better decision about your next used car.”
These are things you won’t find on a CARFAX report:
-Facts about unreported accidents or repairs
-If reported repairs were completed properly or not
-Information about existing warn parts (i.e., tires, hinges)
-The presence of rust or corrosion
The good news is that there is a way to find out all the information about a vehicle you’re thinking about buying. An experienced appraiser can tell you all of the above and more.
The best way to better protect yourself from buying someone else’s damaged goods is to hire an experienced appraiser. The amount you spend on a pre-purchase inspection/appraisal is only a fraction of the cost and headache you might experience when you buy a vehicle based solely on the Carfax report. A professional appraiser will provide you with a comprehensive, detailed list of prior and present vehicle conditions, helping you to make a good decision and avoid the hidden gotcha’s.
If you’re in the market for a pre-owned vehicle, don’t rely on the CARFAX report as your only source of information.
Contact Auto Appraisal Network - Detroit now to schedule your pre purchase vehicle inspection.