If you’re buying a preowned or used car, it’s very important to know it’s full history. That’s because you might buy a car that’s been through one or more accidents, owned by reckless drivers or even have a legal case on the vehicle, such as a lien or something even more serious.
So, how does one go about finding the history of the car that you’re planning to buy? Actually, there’re no ways to find out exactly what was happening with the car earlier. However, one of the most accurate ways to trace the history of a car is from a Carfax report.
As a matter of fact, a report from Carfax can save you a lot of hassles later, when you actually buy a used car.
Here’re some of the things that could come with an old car. Therefore, you need to be careful while buying. And that’s where a Carfax report is useful.
Things that Affect an Old Car
Here’re some of the things that you should be looking for when you’re buying an old car. It can save you a lot of problems later, because you would know your car better. These factors and more are available on a Carfax report.
- History of Accidents- minor and major
- Frequency of Service
- Actual mileage used
- Damage by floods and natural factors
- Number of airbag popups
- Structural and major damage
- Engine condition
- History of ownership
However, a Carfax report isn’t free, when you buy a used car. Fortunately, there’re some hacks and tweaks by which you could actually get a free Carfax report and check a lot of details of the used car that you’re planning to buy.
In this article, I will discuss some of these hacks and tweaks to get a free Carfax report.
Let’s see how much money you can save by using these hacks and tweaks. Therefore, I will describe how much money Carfax charges you for a complete report of the used car.
Cost of Carfax Reports
Carfax reports aren’t all that expensive, if you consider that the used car that you’re buying is a one-off investment in your life. Many of us can’t actually afford to buy a spanking new car.
Here’s a summary of how much you would actually pay for a Carfax report.
- Single Report: $39.99
- Three Reports: $59.99
- Six Reports: $99.99
As you can see, a single report isn’t all that expensive. And, a single report will serve your needs if you’re buying a used car as an investment in your life. Understandably, such a car won’t get you all the money you spend. Yet, you can always get some money back when you sell it in a good condition.
Therefore, let’s look at why Carfax charges this money from you to give their report.
What Does Carfax Report Contain?
A Carfax report contains a lot of details of the used car that you’re planning on buying. That’s the only reason why I say that going for a Carfax report, even by paying some money, could be worth it.
Here’s a list of things that a Carfax report would usually contain:
i) History of accidents
ii) History of ownership
iii) History of service
iv) Mileage rollback
v) Damage by floods or natural disasters
vi) Airbag usage
vii) Mileage rollover
viii) Not actual mileage state owned
x) Rebuilding of chassis during previous ownership
xi) Structural damage due to accidents or other factors
xii) Vehicle recalls by car maker or dealership
xiii) History of registration
xiii) Warranty and related information
xiv) Salvage titles
xv) Estimated miles driven per year
xvi) Last reported mileage
xvii) Length of previous ownerships
xviii) Whether the car was used for personal or commercial purposes
xix) If the car is outdated and no further service is possible
xx) If the car is in good condition or junk
These aren’t the only 20 points that a Carfax report will mention. In fact, the Carfax report will also state the mechanical condition and overall roadworthiness of the used car you’re planning on buying. Therefore, I would say that a Carfax report is worth your money, especially because it’s a one-off expense and not that expensive, as you might imagine.
Getting Free Carfax Report
There’re three excellent hacks to get a free Carfax report for the used car that you’re planning to buy. You can use any of these hacks and save the money you would have to pay for a Carfax report.
Buy Used Car from Carfax
The first and obviously, the best way to get a free Carfax report is to shop for a used car from the Carfax website itself. The company lists thousands of used cars on its website. You can search for these cars by selecting the make, model and other details on the drop menu on their website.
All cars sold by the company come with a free Carfax report. The company provides the free Carfax report to you as a value addition to their used car business. As a matter of fact, Carfax provides you the free report even before you actually buy a car from them. These reports are genuine and hence, you can easily depend on them.
Ask Used Car Dealer for Carfax Report
Check your local used car dealer or an online dealership. Some of them offer a free Carfax report as a service addition, to get more customers. Since these dealers depend on used cars from sellers, they insist on a copy of the Carfax report before putting up a car for sale. However, some cars might have a Carfax report but others might not.
You can always enquire with the used car dealer whether they’ll provide a free Carfax report to you. In some cases, they might actually give you one free because they know you’re truly interested in buying a specific car and don’t want to lose you as their customer. The profits they make by selling your car will more than cover the cost of giving you a free Carfax report.
Ask Seller for Carfax Report
A lot of us buy a used car directly from their owners. That’s because websites such as Craigslist also lists used cars for sale. Obviously, you would want to know the condition of the car and various other details before buying a used car directly from the owner.
In such case, you can request the car owner to give you a free Carfax report as a condition to buy the car. In fact, most car owners are now aware that buyers will insist on a free Carfax report before finalizing the deal. Therefore, some of these sellers will have a Carfax report ready for you to view.
Other Tweaks to Get Free Reports for Used Cars
If you can’t get a free Carfax report from the above ways, there’re always different tweaks to get a report for the used car you’re planning to buy, through other means. Here, I will describe the three best ways to get a free report for a used car.
Lemonchecks.com is a fantastic website from where you can get a free report for a used car that’s somewhat similar to a Carfax report. To do so, you have to enter the Vehicle Information Number (VIN), that’s usually inscribed under the bonnet of the car, near the engine. Sometimes, you can also find the VIN number on the car registration documents.
All reports from Lemonchecks.com are free. Though they won’t be as comprehensive as Carfax, a free report from Lemonchecks.com will contain vital information about the used car. This includes the following:
i) History of major accidents
ii) Full history of owner and title
iii) Damage due to floods and natural disasters
iv) Mileage rollbacks
v) Undisclosed liens
Another good website to look up details and history of a used car is from the website, Iseecars.com. Here you have to key in the VIN of the car you’re planning on buying or selling. Their search engine will automatically generate the car report and submit online.
Their website has an article on how to check the history of a used car using the VIN. You can refer to this article and check some of the things that would matter, when you buy a used car. Iseecars.com also offers a paid service, which provides a full report of your car. This is similar to a Carfax report.
Yet one more online service that can provide you some details and history of a used car is Autocheck.com. They have two services- a free, basic history check and a full, paid check. You can opt for the free, basic car history check if you’re not interested in getting a lot of details about a used car.
To get a free used car history report from Autocheck.com, you have to key in the VIN. The portal will automatically generate a brief history report of the used car that you’re planning on buying or selling. This report will not contain as many details as a Carfax report, but it’s free.
Before concluding, I’ll add that getting a Carfax report for a used car that you wish to buy or sell can save you a lot of hassles that you might come across otherwise. There’re three excellent ways to get a free Carfax report, as I describe in this article. There’re also some tweaks that you can use to get reports for your used car free, that’re somewhat similar to a full Carfax report. However, a Carfax report is worthwhile because it contains all details of the used car that’re relevant for you.