Why CarFax is Not Always Accurate
Many consumers think a Carfax or AutoCheck report reveals everything that could possibly be wrong with a used vehicle - this is simply not true.
While they can be a useful service, don't rely on them as your sole source of information.
CarFax and AutoCheck obtain their information from thousands of different sources including state title and registration records, car auctions, police, and fire departments.
They will tell you how many prior owners the vehicle has had, whether the car was part of a rental service, if it's been flooded, or been in an accident.
These are great things to know, but you'll only find out about them if they were reported to those agencies in the first place.
If there is wrong or missing information, Carfax and AutoCheck will simply forward that on.
Think about all the accidents that are never reported to insurance companies. People don't want their insurance rates going up, so they take care of it themselves.
These types of accidents will never show up in a vehicle history report. Cars are regularly damaged at dealerships - and quickly repaired in their service department. Again, you'll never know about it.
It's smart to get a Carfax or AutoCheck report, but it's even smarter to take it with a grain of salt and make sure you do some more due diligence before buying a used car. My best advice is to have a mechanic thoroughly inspect any car you're serious about buying.
3 Steps Every Car Buyer Needs to Take to Save Maximum MoneyThe key to getting the best deal is to gather price or lease bids from as many local dealers as possible. Then shop that best price around until no one can beat it. Here are the steps:
Step 1 Get Prices From My Trusted NetworkSelect the vehicle you're interested in to see if there are local dealers in my network who will provide you with their best upfront price. You will get direct access to an internet sales manager who you can further negotiate with online (no need to visit dealership).
Step 2 Get Prices From TrueCar / CarsDirectTrueCar, and CarsDirect are my top 2 online price quote recommendations. These services show you pre-negotiated prices from dealers closest to you - and the deals are usually pretty decent. But remember, you can still negotiate further.
Step 3 Complete my ChecklistFollow this up with my checklist to make sure you squeeze out every last bit of savings.
- Gregg Fidan
Each week, I'll keep you up-to-date on the latest car deals and news that might affect your purchase. This includes...
- Best Rebates, Incentives, and Lease Deals
- Latest Car Buying Scams and Tricks
- The Best & Worst Time to Buy a Car
- Which Cars You Should Avoid