More than 100,000 different sources, including every U.S. and Canadian provincial motor vehicle agency plus many police and fire departments, collision repair facilities, auto auctions and more report to the CARFAX®database.
With over 17.5 billion records, the CARFAX® database is the single most comprehensive vehicle history database in North America. Reports reveal important information about a used auto’s history to assist consumers when making a used car purchase decision.
A CARFAX® report can be a useful tool, but you need to take the vehicle for a test drive and have the vehicle inspected by a qualified mechanic. A combination of the car’s history, coupled with mechanic’s overview and test drive results will be your best line of defense before signing on the dotted line.
Keep in mind, CARFAX® is only as good as the sources sending them information. They have three primary sources: state title agencies, police reports, and repair shops. The title agencies send them owner history and report branded titles. The police reports inform them of accidents or theft. The repair shops handle everything else.
What does all this mean to you, the consumer?
Title reports are pretty darn good since they simply copy what’s on the vehicle’s title. It may not capture every single change of ownership, but CARFAX® will definitely tell you if the title is branded salvage/reconstructed/flood, etc.
The rest of it though? Well, that’s a bit grayer area. Luck, cleverness, and good old human error will all play a part!
Keep in mind:
- Not all accidents are reported. No accident report, noCARFAX® notification.
- Not all body shops report collision repair services to CARFAX®. Of those that do, they may simply report a repair with no mention of an accident.
- The mileage records are only as good as the people reporting them.
- Data entered into CARFAX® may be inaccurate due to the user inputting it incorrectly.
With all that being said, CARFAX® is a great tool but it isn’t perfect. Definitely ask for a copy of the CARFAX® report, and if a dealer ever refuses to furnish one, simply walk away.
For collision repair services you can trust, turn to Peninsula Auto Body. We’re dedicated to you and focus on providing the best customer service regarding your auto body needs during what can be a stressful time. Should you find yourself in need of collision repair services, stop by for a free estimate at 1430 San Mateo Ave., S. San Francisco, CA or call us at 650.588.0999 Monday through Friday from 7:30am-5:30pm and Saturday by appointment to speak to our expertly trained staff.