Free complete used car history reports

Carfax also receives data from less common sources too, including auto auctions, police and fire departments, and collision repair shops. In North America alone, the Carfax database contains over Of course, when it comes to vehicle data, quality matters too.

How do I get a free Carfax report?

Carfax reports provide a wide range of information, including information that you may not find on Autocheck reports. You can discover if the car has a junk, flood, branded title or salvage title, or if it's ever been used as part of a commercial fleet. This provides insight into how the vehicle was used and possibly abused , which helps to shed light on what you can expect from it in the future.

After all, even if there's no structural damage, it's wise to learn about any wear and tear that may have taken its toll on the vehicle's many components. This information lets you proceed with confidence, knowing that the odometer hasn't been fraudulently adjusted. In the United States, Carfax reports also show lemon titles and manufacturer buybacks, helping you to avoid vehicles that have been problematic in the past.

They also show where the vehicle was originally registered and used, giving you a better idea of the kind of conditions it has been exposed to. Carfax reports also detail any transfers of ownership. After all, if the vehicle has had many owners, there's probably a reason. If the vehicle has a lien against it, your Carfax report will acknowledge it so you don't accidentally purchase property that technically doesn't belong to the seller due to outstanding debt. Carfax also lets you know if the vehicle is or has been stolen.

You can also find information on when and where a car was inspected, including whether it passed or failed safety and emissions inspections. You can also learn about any maintenance records, repairs or other service history. If the vehicle has a consistent history of needing repairs, it may be prudent to look elsewhere. Carfax also lets you know if a vehicle has been recalled so you can make sure that any repairs or exchanges have already been completed.

Additionally, Carfax is guaranteed to have information about severe accidents, and Carfax offers the largest publicly accessible database of smaller accident reports that may not be reported elsewhere. That said, smaller accidents aren't guaranteed to show up on Carfax reports. Some accidents simply aren't reported, and others may be reported to agencies that don't provide Carfax with data.


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This company assigns each vehicle a numerical score similar to a credit score for cars within a range for similar examples of the same vehicle, age and mileage. The score is intended to demonstrate how well the vehicle stacks up against other available cars in its class. This allows you to quickly weed out any vehicles with issues, which can be as benign as high mileage and repossessions or as serious as damage from one or more reported accidents. It will also let you know whether the car was ever used by police or taxi services.

These scores pay close attention to collision data, giving potential buyers a thorough look at what's happened if anything in the vehicle's past that might warrant concern. Unfortunately, the scale can be a little confusing, and how AutoCheck determines those numbers isn't particularly obvious. Those who prefer a highly detailed report may want to spend a little extra on Carfax reports. However, those who aren't as technically savvy may find that a simple numerical score streamlines the process and makes the information more easily digestible.

It's largely a matter of preference. One of AutoCheck's key advantages over Carfax is that it has exclusive access to auction data from the two largest United States auctions, giving prospective buyers a more comprehensive look at a vehicle's history this is why their reports have a better reputation with used car dealers. Furthermore, AutoCheck lets their subscribers run up to reports using VIN numbers Vehicle Identification Number from a desktop or tablet computer — or even a smartphone.

More than 60% of all used cars imported from the U.S. to Europe have a negative history

As of this writing, Carfax did not offer any similar service. Autocheck provides much of the same information as Carfax, however its database is not as large. That said, some data available from Autocheck may not be available on Carfax too, so you may want to consider getting reports from both platforms just to be thorough. Autocheck provides registration and title data from all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia.

Why Do I Need a Free Vehicle History Report?

The platform also delivers collision records from police reports and other sources, as well as event data from insurance companies and salvage yards. Autocheck checks for records of the vehicle being abandoned, damaged, junked or scrapped. Any major incidents reported to relevant databases are acknowledged. The platform also reports any documented fire, hail or water damage, as well as any frame or structural damage or odometer damage. The platform also delivers any relevant records pertaining to the vehicle's relation with the grey market, recycling facilities or insurance loss or probable total loss.

Autocheck delivers records of manufacturer buybacks or lemons, as well as reports on whether the vehicle is rebuilt or rebuildable. That way you can buy with confidence, knowing that your vehicle has passed safety standards. That's why many dealers use Autocheck. It's undoubtedly the more frugal option, however, the reports aren't as robust. First of all, you may not need to decide. If you're buying through a dealer, broker or online service, it's likely that they will offer a report from one or both of these services. For example, Autolist often lists cars that come with free Carfax reports included.

While Carfax reports are more expensive, we believe that potential buyers have the right to as much information as possible. Carfax reports simply offer more information, and when it comes to buying a used car, knowledge is power. Both data sources do offer similar benefits, however. So, if you simply want to make sure that the car isn't stolen, for example, you may find choosing the cheaper option: Autocheck. To determine the best course of action, start by reviewing your goals. Do you want a highly detailed overview of the vehicle, or do you simply want to check to make sure the sale is legitimate?

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Are you spending a significant amount of money on a long-term daily driver, or are you simply getting the cheapest possible beater to get you from point A to B? Are you seeking a particular vehicle, or are you willing to take whatever fits your budget? Those who are making a serious investment would be wise to use Carfax or both platforms. The extra cost of Carfax gives you priceless peace of mind, knowing that you've used the most comprehensive option. Even if you're not actively seeking specific information, you may be surprised when new details show up that you didn't expect.

At the same time, Autocheck is still a very handy tool that may accomplish everything you need and more -- especially if you want a numerical Autocheck score that sums up the information for you. Just make sure that the information you're seeking is, in fact, covered by Autocheck's database.

Finally, if you're browsing many different cars, it may make more sense to use Autocheck's 25 or limit plan.

That way you have the freedom to generate reports on any vehicle that sparks your interest, without having to dwell on the cost. After all, if you're spending some time finding that perfect ride, the cost of paying for each individual report adds up fast. While there's no denying that both Carfax and Autocheck reports are extremely useful, it's important to remember that both reports are limited to their databases, meaning that even the most detailed reports could be missing certain information. Carfax receives data from more organizations, so if there's an undisclosed issue with the vehicle, you're more likely to find it there.

Additionally, Carfax does state that if there's a mistake on your vehicle history report, they will buy the vehicle back from you. However, even using both Carfax and Autocheck doesn't guarantee that you're going to discover every existing or potential issue. Some issues may have never been reported, or Carfax or Autocheck may not have access to certain information. There's always going to be a certain amount of risk involved in buying used vehicles. The trick is to use tools like these to mitigate the risk.

The odds are in your favor. After all, between both platforms, you have access to a tremendous amount of information. Just try not to depend on them as your only source of information. When it comes to learning about a car's history, it's wise to shop at reputable car lots and online platforms. Read up on what to expect. The Federal Trade Commission has tips to help you shop safely and avoid trouble down the road.

Topics include:. How much is the car worth? Suspect fraud? Report it. What are your responsibilities? Keep up to date on the rules and laws that could affect your company. Federal Trade Commission Consumer Information.

Search form Search. Used Cars. Share this page Facebook Twitter Linked-In. Reports from other providers sometimes have additional information, like accident and repair history: AutoCheck. Topics include: Buying a used car Buying a new car Understanding vehicle financing Car loan modification scams Auto service contracts and warranties How much is the car worth?

In Case of Trouble Suspect fraud? Resources for Auto Dealers What are your responsibilities? Related Items Buying a Used Car. Financing a Car. Understanding Car Add-ons. Buying a Used Car. Auto Trade-ins and Negative Equity.


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