When you buy a new or used car, you want the best deal for your money. Who doesn't? Many people rely on auto history reports to give them all the information they need. One of the most popular names in the business is Carfax. Is Carfax reliable? Can you trust Carfax enough to use them as the sole factor in purchasing a new vehicle? When buying a new or used vehicle it is in the buyer's best interest to do their homework. However, there are various reasons why you need to do more than buy a vehicle based on its Carfax report.
The Case for a Pre-Purchase Auto Inspection
It is extremely important to get a pre-purchase car appraisal from a trustworthy company before buying a new vehicle. Carfax may not tell you everything. Simply, because not everything is reported. One extremely important thing to be aware of when buying a new vehicle is that even though it has a VIN number, it may not be registered. If a car is not registered, there will be no Carfax report. Also, when it comes to new cars, most states do not report odometer readings to Carfax or information sent to Carfax could be misprinted. Any mistake can be made by an accidental human error. You should not rely on Carfax even for new vehicles, always get a pre-appraisal before purchasing a new vehicle. That is the only way to be completely sure about anything.
Carfax creates its report by collecting data from various sources. One source being the title history. This information comes from the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System. Not all states participate in the NMVTIS so, you could be missing a lot of valuable information. Carfax also gets their information from insurance companies, auto repair shops, and police accident reports. The problem with this is simple, not all accidents are reported, not all repairs are reported. Sometimes a car could get in an accident leading to internal problems that the owner isn't aware of. Therefore, selling you a used car with issues that nobody was ever aware of.
Carfax is supposed to report the title history, all vehicle registration and title owners, the odometer readings, any recalls, all car accidents, and the airbag deployment history. The chances that all this information is reported and 100% accurate is highly unlikely.
So, Is Carfax Reliable?
By no means should this be interpreted as Carfax not being legitimate or purposefully providing false information. However, if a car comes back with a clean auto report, that may not necessarily be true. It is not any fault of Carfax or other vehicle reporting services. The bottom line is to do your homework, check what you can, test drive the automobile whether it is new or used, and have a mechanic look at it. This should all be done before purchasing. Once you have taken all the necessary precautions when buying a vehicle. You can now feel secure about your purchasing decision.