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Can You Trust Your Used Car History Report? Find Out

Can You Trust Your Used Car History Report? Find Out

What do the top four used car history report companies have in common? They're usually wrong. Unfortunately, this was the finding when checking out the reliability of these companies. Keep reading to discover which companies you can trust.

Used Car History Report - Trustworthy?

You need a new car -- new to you, that is. You can't afford a brand new car, so you opt for a used one. Common sense tells you to be wary, to check all the details, to ask the right questions, and to do a background check.

You follow through and find what you think is the perfect car. With your used car history report in hand that says the car is in great shape, you go to buy your "new" car. But wait.

What do you do when you find out too late that the top companies performing these used car background checks are routinely wrong and your "new" car is in lousy shape?

During a study in which dozens of cars, advertised online, had background checks on them, they came back as "clean." When the original owners of the vehicles were called, they provided information about serious dents and other accident-related damage. None of this information showed up on any of the used car history reports performed.

Who performed the background checks? How about:

-- Carfax
-- AutoCheck
-- Free VINCheck -- (a national crime bureau)
-- National Motor Vehicle Title Information Systems Database

Although these are the top four car history reporting companies in the United States, none of them caught major damage that had occurred to the vehicles.

Does this mean these companies are untrustworthy and they have been deliberately deceiving their customers? No. It means that these vehicles were reported to them with a "clean" title. Clean-title wrecks are popular at auctions because buyers can repair the vehicles and then resell them to unsuspecting consumers.

Unfortunately, wrecks can maintain a "clean" title if the vehicle:

-- Doesn't have collision insurance
-- Is self-insured (rental cars and fleet vehicles)
-- Damage is considered less than "total loss" damage

The four companies mentioned above are taking steps to ensure this information comes into consideration so they produce more reliable reports on used cars. So, the next time you pay for a used car history report, keep this information in mind and keep asking questions.


  • Je
    Jeff and Gail C 6th of Oct, 2010

    BEWARE OF AUTOCHECK A DIVISION OF EXPERIAN. In an attempt to sell my vehicle which has been owned since off the showroom floor by me, I discovered that Carfax had correct information. Autocheck however was incorrectly reporting accidents (vandalism is reported as accidents as well) on my vehicle's VIN number which never occurred. After proving through DMV and local Police Department the reported accident NEVER happened, and over 5 emails to them through their Autocheck site and then eventually through Experian.....NO ONE WILL RESPOND. My emails get an AUTO Response but they do not have the professional courtesy to reply to my concerns, let alone correct their misinformation. Their incorrect report cost me the cash sale of my vehicle, not once but twice. CarMax uses Autocheck systems as well as the Sacramento Nissan dealer whom offered me a nice cash sale price, and rescinded that offer after pulling up Autocheck's incorrect report on my vehicle's VIN.


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