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Is Carfax Reliable?

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is CarFax Reliable

Purchasing a vehicle is always going to be a stressful experience. If you are buying a used car, you need to ensure that you not choosing a lemon.

One of the ways to avoid this is to make sure you are getting as much information about a used car as possible. You can do this by accessing a vehicle history report.

Vehicle history reports provide key information about a used vehicle including:

Information on any repair


Warranty details

Information on a previous owner

The vehicle’s condition

Various services will provide used car buyers with a vehicle history report. One of the most popular options is Carfax. Indeed, a Carfax report is widely considered to be the industry standard. But can you rely on the information that Carfax reports provide?

Issues With Carfax Reports

While Carfax and Autocheck are often considered to provide reliable information including an accurate history and service records, there are some issues to be aware of.

First, any information provided through a car fax report is sourced from a dealer. Dealers can make mistakes and input the incorrect information which is then relayed through a Carfax report. As such, the information received on a motor vehicle including details relating to an accident history may not be reliable due to human error.

Carfax utilises more than 112,000 different data sources to provide information on used vehicles. This does include car dealerships, previous owner, mechanic companies, and law enforcement. It is highly likely that a car dealership will make mistakes when providing information every so often. This is why consumers should check details provided by companies carefully for any discrepancies or jumps in logic.

When buying a used car from a business, a consumer should also be aware that there is always a delay in the data provided through a Carfax report. The reality is that major details could be missing from a report that new owners should be aware of. This could include changes to levels of maintenance, new accidents or repairs that were recently completed on the vehicle. For instance, if a repair was completed on a car by an auto shop a week before the car was sold, it’s not going to show on a Carfax report.

Does Everyone Provide Info To Carfax

You might assume that every dealer or car company will provide information to Carfax for Carfax reports. This isn’t the case. There are numerous cases of companies where information including accidents and repairs will not be reported. An example includes rental businesses. In a rental business, accidents are handled by an in-house insurance company. As such, there is no reason for an accident to be reported to a company like Carfax. So details on the vehicle identification number (VIN) of a vehicle like this are missed completely before a purchase from a used car shop.

Can You Trust A Carfax Report

Carfax reports can be trusted however they are limited by the available vehicle’s history. During the car buying process, it is possible and indeed like that a Carfax report is missing critical information that you should be aware about about the vehicle. So, while it’s useful, particularly when comparing different cars for sale, it won’t provide complete peace of mind. That’s why, before you purchase a used car and spend your money, there are other steps that you should take.

carfax report

Why A Pre-Purchase Inspection Is Crucial

Despite the limitations of Carfax, it is still advisable to get a Carfax report when buying a used car. While not free, it can save you from the total loss of money that may be endured if you commit to a car purchase where there are hidden issues.

You just need to understand that a Carfax report will not provide complete peace of mind. If you want to ensure that you have complete protection when completing a deal to buy a used car, you need to arrange a pre-purchase vehicle inspection.

An inspection like this will check a vehicle for an issues that may not have shown up on a Carfax report. This could include hidden problems that require a repair.

Through an inspection, you can check for issues with the tyres, rust, or problems with the engine. An inspection can also explore key components of the vehicle including steering, brakes and even different fluid levels.

Pre-inspections on cars provide a comprehensive exploration of the vehicles to identify any issues that you should be aware of. Similar to Carfax, a pre-inspection will provide you with a complete report on the vehicle. However, unlike Carfax, this report will provide real-time data. You won’t have to worry about a delay which could lead to crucial information being missed completely.

Other Action You Can Take

Aside from arranging a pre-inspection and getting a Carfax report, there are other steps that you can take. For instance, you may want to contact insurance companies directly. Doing so should allow you to check information such as the title or the vehicle as well as the service history of different cars you are considering purchasing. This is another way to save yourself from buying a used car which has hidden issues. It is a key step that you should take before you sign a deal to buy a used car.

How To Get A Carfax Report?

In some cases, there may be a link to Carfax report on the dealership website. Free Carfax reports may also be available from the app of a company. Alternatively, you can arrange to receive a report yourself if you have the VIN.

We hope this helps you understand whether you can trust the information provided in a Carfax report. If you are keen to learn more or you want to arrange a pre-purchase inspection of a vehicle you are considering purchasing, please do not hesitate to contact us today. A friendly member of our team will be happy to assist you further. Remember, vehicle history reports through Carfax are only ever as accurate as the information provided to the company. They could be missing crucial details about a car you need before you commit to a purchase.