What is Carfax?

The Carfax report It is very useful when buying a used car because it allows you to ensure that the vehicle you are choosing has no problems. How does CarFax work? We will explain it to you right away.

The report or carfax report It is a document that shows you the history of the vehicle. With it you can check that the car you are about to buy does not hide technical or legal problems. Careful reading of the Carfax will prevent you from getting stuck in a complicated vehicle. It will also help you negotiate the price and generally give you more peace of mind about your investment.

What is Carfax?

This company was founded in 1984 in Columbia, Missouri and is currently engaged in online marketing services for car sellers and buyers alike. It is best known for its famous vehicle history reports which provide accurate information on any used vehicle from the 1981 model year onwards.

These reports are used by both used car buyers and sellers to find out what condition a vehicle is in and what its actual market value may be. According to the company itself, today it has more than 6 billion records. But as if this were not enough, the company has evolved to offer other services in addition to reports:

  • Used Vehicles Catalog
  • Online platform to publish your used car
  • Valuation of your vehicle
  • Help with the maintenance of your vehicle

How does CarFax work?

Vehicle history report

Carfax reports are tied to the unique 17-character VIN associated with each vehicle. In this way, every time the vehicle changes hands, for example, this event is recorded in a database. The vehicle history report gathers all the records in a single document. Later, we will see what each report includes and its prices.

As we said before, the Carfax report will help you choose the best used vehicle by comparing the available options. There are companies like Edmunds and Kelley Blue Book that offer car price guides, but none of them will also tell you about the number of previous owners or the condition of a vehicle..

Used Vehicles Catalog

Carfax will help you find a vehicle with the features you want and put you in touch with the dealership that sells it. In just a few minutes you can find your ideal used car by filtering by dealer, model, price, number of previous owners, etc.

Something that can be extremely interesting for used car buyers is that there is the Carfax buyback guarantee, which reduces risk when purchasing a vehicle. How does it work? The company assures you that if you purchased a vehicle whose Carfax report did not include a salvage title notice, fire or flood damage, or odometer problems, they could buy the vehicle from you for the full amount of the purchase (although you should read the terms of the carfax). service for details).

List your used car on Carfax

Carfax offers you the opportunity to show your vehicle to the used car dealers closest to your home. You can get a valuation almost instantly by entering the basic data of your vehicle and waiting for the purchase offers to arrive.

Help with the maintenance of your vehicle

In 2012 the company launched myCARFAX, a service that helps car owners to control their maintenance including calculating repair costs, knowing recalls and finding local repair services.

What does the Carfax report include?

title information: Since this information comes from the Department of Motor Vehicles, it is the most reliable section of the Carfax report. To avoid legal problems, make sure the person you are buying the vehicle from is listed as the true owner on the Carfax report.

Mileage: The Carfax report will list the last number of miles reported on the vehicle’s odometer. While some fluctuation is to be expected, if the number is dramatically different from what you see on the actual odometer, it’s a red flag and you could be a victim of fraud.

the number of owners: If you’re buying a used car, ideally it should have the least number of previous owners. This usually indicates that the vehicle did not have any problems and has been in the same hands for a long time. If the vehicle has had multiple owners you could be getting a headache, or worse yet, a car that has been mishandled.

Accident and damage history: Carfax uses over 100,000 data sources in total to compile a comprehensive list of any accident or damage done to the vehicle. Their sources are highly reputable and include auto body shops, police departments, and insurance companies.

Kind of property: The Carfax report will tell you if the car was used by an individual driver, for rental, or for business purposes. Commercial vehicles generally wear out more and you may find yourself needing a lot of repairs.

Any recall of this vehicle or larger issues: If the specific vehicle was recalled or had a part recalled, that information will be visible on the Carfax report.

Things the Carfax Report Won’t Tell You

Of course, when buying a car, you also need to apply common sense. There are several things you won’t see on the Carfax report that you should be aware of, whenever possible.

Unreported accidents: Carfax relies on local police departments for its crash data. If you are buying a vehicle that has only been driven in one metropolitan area, the Carfax will probably be very accurate. But if you’re buying a vehicle in a smaller town, or if people in your town don’t tend to report accidents, some of them may not have been reported to Carfax by the police department. Of course, any accidents that have occurred in the last few days will also not be on the report.

Accidents as repairs: If a body shop instead of the police department reports an incident to Carfax, it probably won’t show up as an accident. Why? Auto shops tend to report what they fixed, not what happened. If you see that a bumper has been replaced, you should suspect that the vehicle has been in an unreported accident.

As you can see, it is not only important to obtain the Carfax Report when buying a used vehicle. Plus, you’ll need a keen and discerning eye to get the full story.

What is a “CLEAN” Carfax?

You have probably heard this term many times, and all it means is that the Carfax report does not list any major problems with the vehicle. However, even if the Carfax report indicates a green “CLEAN” at the top, it is always advisable to review everything in the report to verify that there are no problems.

Important: At first glance, make sure the car hasn’t been listed as a salvage title, hasn’t been involved in any major accidents, doesn’t have any flood or fire damage, and that the person selling the vehicle is the same person. that appears in the property document.

Of course, You should also make sure that the vehicle has not been reported stolen.

How much does a Carfax report cost?

Carfax gives you the option to purchase individual reports for $39.99 each, purchase 3 reports for $59.99 ($20 each), or purchase 6 reports for $99.99 ($16.67 each). So the best thing here is to do a good research beforehand and ask only for the reports of those vehicles in which you are really interested. This will help you save time and money because you won’t have to pay for or read all those reports on vehicles you probably won’t buy.

Carfax offers quite convenient payment methods such as credit or debit cards (Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover), PayPal balance payments and Amazon Pay.


Before you decide to purchase the vehicle, you should request an independent inspection and test drive. A Carfax report is an invaluable tool, but it is not a substitute for expert opinion nor the intuitive feeling when sitting in the driver’s seat of the car that interests you.

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