When you are looking at buying a used car or truck, it’s important to take some precautions so you don’t end up with a vehicle you regret buying. There is nothing worse than enjoying the high of buying a new vehicle only to have your emotions crushed when you find out there is something major wrong with it that you didn’t know about.
Many consumers think a Carfax or AutoCheck report will show you everything negative that could have occurred with a used vehicle but this is certainly not always the case.
While I definitely would recommend using one of them, I would not rely on them as your gospel truth for historical information on the vehicle you are considering.
Carfax and AutoCheck obtain their information from many different sources including state and registration records, auto auctions, police reports, and even fire departments.
Some info that the reports will tell you are how many owners the vehicle has had, whether the car was ever a rental, if it has ever been in a flood, and of course if it has been in an accident.
This is all great information, but they will only show up on one of the history reports if they were reported to one or more of these agencies in the first place.
If there is inaccurate or missing information, Carfax and AutoCheck will forward that on. They rely solely on data from other reports.
Think about all the many accidents that are never reported to the Police or insurance companies. People want to protect their insurance rates from going up, so they take care of it without reporting it. Many times on car lots vehicles will get accidentally damaged, only to have the dealership run it into their bodyshop for a quick fix or touch up, without ever reporting it to their insurance company.
Obviously when this happens, the accident will never show up on any report, thus it will never show up on a Carfax or AutoCheck report and you’ll never know that it happened. The vehicle may have been fixed perfectly, but you will never know for sure without an inspection.
So in the end it is worth pulling a Carfax or AutoCheck report, but be sure to not take it as the absolute truth. Always be sure and have any vehicle inspected by a professional mechanic before agreeing to purchase, as they can spot problems in a vehicle that me or you would miss.