The Importance of Vehicle History Report

Posted Friday, Jun 30, 2023

What is a Carfax Report

A fantastic approach to saving money is to purchase a secondhand vehicle. It can also represent a risky venture, mostly because you can never be sure what the used car has been through with its previous owner. Regular maintenance and service can go a long way in keeping a used car in good shape, but should you blindly trust the car owner who insists that they’ve never missed a maintenance schedule?

A car history report might be useful in this situation. With the help of a Carfax vehicle history report, you can keep track of relevant information about a used car and make an informed decision.

A Carfax report in montclair can collect information about the vehicle from multiple sources, including insurance providers and government agencies to provide a detailed, easy-to-read report about the vehicle.

What Makes a Carfax Report So Reliable?

Carfax reports are reliable because a car’s vehicle identification number (VIN) cannot be changed. Every car has a unique VIN that remains unchanged throughout its lifetime. In many ways, your car’s VIN number is much like a fingerprint. The VIN number is specifically generated for the car during production.

VIN numbers are also used by technicians to identify car parts for easy repairs. Law enforcement agencies also use VIN numbers to quickly identify cars that have been reported to be stolen.

If you plan on getting a used car, you should check its VIN number before buying it.

How Does Carfax Work?

At its core, Carfax works as an easy-to-use VIN-checking website that lets you gain insights about a car using its VIN number. The VIN checker can be easily used by prospective buyers of used vehicles.

Many buyers use Carfax reports to buy reliable vehicles. So, what makes Carfax reports different than other services?

Carfax cross-references information about a used car from 100,000 sources and has been doing this for many years, making it one of the most reputable VIN checking sites out there. Their main sources of data are insurance companies, law enforcement agencies, auction houses, and DMVs.

Carfax reports can provide you with vital information about a used car, such as accident history (if any), rental history, type of use, ownership history, service history, and others.

The only disadvantage of using Carfax reports is that they can be rather expensive, costing about $39.99 for a single report. This is why Royal Auto Dealer in montclair provides Carfax reports with every car for complete transparency.

The Cost of a Carfax Report

A single Carfax report costs about $39.99, but you can get discounts for more reports. Many private sellers buy Carfax vehicle history reports for their vehicle before listing it for sale and for help in coming up with an accurate price.

There are cheaper alternatives to Carfax, such as Autocheck, which costs about $25 for each report. Autocheck provides fewer details, but you can get access to 25 reports in 21 days for just $50 - which is a steal if you are checking vehicle history reports for multiple cars.

Are there any Gaps in Carfax Reports

Although Carfax tries to get comprehensive information about each vehicle, it is possible for it to provide incomplete data. Not everything is reported to insurance agencies and law enforcement, and Carfax may not receive information from every single source.

This can introduce gaps in the used car's history report that could hide important details such as an accident and missed maintenance services.

Observations When Reading a Vehicle History Report

Carfax reports can be very comprehensive, and reading them may be tricky for some motorists. To make things easier, here are a few things you should look for when going through the vehicle history report:

  • Whether the used car has been in an accident
  • Number of previous owners the used car has had
  • Odometer
  • Title type
  • Where the car was registered
  • Type of car (commercial, personal, fleet, or other)
  • Service records

Number of Owners

Carfax reports contain a detailed owner’s section that provides everything you need to know about a used car’s ownership history, including:

  • The year the car was purchased
  • Type of owner (personal, fleet, or other)
  • How long the car was owned by the motorist
  • How many miles the car was driven per year
  • Odometer reading

Accident History

You should always review the car’s accident history before buying it to avoid inheriting major mechanical or structural problems. The Carfax report will show you if the used car has had the following issues:

  • Had its airbags deployed due to an accident
  • Going through extensive structural damage
  • Been declared a total loss
  • Been involved in an accident

It is worth noting that not all accidents are red flags. Most claims can be cosmetic or a routine repair that doesn't affect the car’s mechanical or structural aspects. Examples of an acceptable accident history include:

  • Windshield repair
  • An accident claim under $3,000

Accident claims that have claims greater than $3,000 usually stem from a major accident that resulted in serious structural or mechanical damage.

Odometer Reading

Carfax reports also keep track of the odometer reading, which goes a long way in preventing rollback fraud. A rollback fraud is when the seller purposely sets the odometer back to fetch a higher price. Carfax reports are useful because they list the last odometer reading they retrieved from their sources, making it nearly impossible for someone to roll back the odometer.

Wrapping Up

Buying a used car no longer requires taking a leap of faith. A vehicle history report can play a vital role in helping you unravel the past life of a used car before making a decision to buy it.

Fortunately, Carfax reports are available with Royal Auto Dealers. We also recommend doing a test drive along with a thorough inspection of the car to ensure you’re getting the best possible deal. For more information on vehicle history reports and why you should use them before buying a used car.