People are sometime surprised when they ask me to look something up on Carfax to determine a potential car history. I don’t have a full time Carfax account, truth be told I use the services as few as 6 times per year.
Don’t get me wrong, the information in Carfax is great resource, the issue at hand is the information that’s not in Carfax.
I have personally owned vehicles with legitimate accident histories that weren’t in Carfax. I had a buyer run a Carfax on my car for sale, come make me an offer and when I disclosed the accident history disregard it.
I have personally inspected cars with clean vehicle histories that had visible indications of accident repair and I have also seen clean cars with reported ambiguous maintenance reported that was perceived as an accident history.
The information reported to you by a car history service is only as good as what’s reported to them. They collect this information from the DMV, police reports and other sources. These sources cover most of the typical places a car can be repaired, but many go unreported or are handled on the low down and nobody knows anything about the accident.
In addition to a vehicle history report, it’s also a good idea to have the car inspected and trust your own instincts about buying the car.
Be sure the report you get represents the exact VIN on the car and there is some history of the vehicle and the owner has service records on the vehicle that correlate to the same places on the vehicle history report.
Protect Your Investment. Have it appraised!!