Understanding Carfax and AutoCheck (Vehicle History Reports)

Posted Tuesday, Jun 04, 2019

Vehicle history reports have been around for some time now.  The two major vehicle history reporting companies are Carfax and AutoCheck.  How can they help you in your buying process for a used car?

Carfax has been very good at advertising and marketing themselves whereas many of you may have never heard of AutoCheck.  Both companies both gather information on the vehicle’s history, and in a lot of ways they operate much like a credit report does for people.  Just like a lender can check Equifax or Experian to see your credit history you can check Carfax or AutoCheck for an automobile.

Just like credit reports they can contain errors.  The information contained is only as good as the information that is reported to them.  Like a credit bureau certain companies only report to either Carfax or AutoCheck, so an accident that was reported to AutoCheck may not show up on a Carfax.

As a consumer it is important not to judge a vehicle solely on the history report, but to use them as a guide to gain some insight as to how the vehicle was treated.  Just because an accident was reported doesn’t make it a bad purchase.  Many used cars have had minor accidents and some of those accidents can go unreported.  The main concern is the severity of the accident.  Does the car has frame damage, did the airbags deploy, was it towed from the scene? These would be major accidents that you would want to avoid.

Both Carfax and AutoCheck can give information on how bad an accident was.  That is why it is important to read the information provided in order to make a better buying decision.  The best way to judge a vehicle is to physically look at the car and test drive it.  Ultimately the decision is yours, and what you a comfortable buying.  A minor accident should not prevent you from buying a good car and can help save on the overall price of that vehicle.

Car shoppers today have access to more information on a vehicle than ever before, which can make it harder for us to make a buying decision.  That is why you should never pre-judge a car without seeing it in person, driving it, and then using some good old common sense to finalize you purchase.

For more about Carfax vs. Autocheck check out Edmunds.com.

Interested in one of our vehicles?  We offer a free Carfax with each vehicle as part of our service to you.  Visit our inventory page to get your free Carfax.