autocheck vs carfax

Autocheck vs Carfax which one should you choose?

Both Autocheck and Carfax are direct competitors and either choice can be seen as an excellent alternative to one another. They are both the leaders in the industry.  Whether to chose a Carfax or an AutoCheck report all depends on your individual needs and preferences. If you are buying a car from an auction or dealership then we say go with Autocheck as it contains exclusive auction data. If you are buying a car from an individual then go with Carfax as it includes maintenance reports. If you are buying a car in Canada, go with the carfax.ca report as it includes access to additional database and lien info.  In the end, the safest choice is to buy both. The few extra dollars out of your car-buying budget will be well worth the peace of mind you will get by knowing that you have all the available information possible. If you are on a tight budget you can check for the latest AutoCheck vs Carfax discounts online.

Side by Side Comparison Table of Autocheck vs Carfax (Pros vs Cons)

AUTOCHECK

CARFAX

Pros

Cons

Pros

Cons

Price [ One report for $24.99 and $99.99 for 300 reports]

 

Does not include maintenance records Includes Maintenance records Price [ One report for $39.99 and $99.99 for 6 reports]
Has scoring system No Money Back guarantee Has buyback guarantee No scoring system
Exclusive Auction Data Less known and less trusted Name recognition and higher trust No auction Data
Uses only Experian + Auction Data 10 000 sources across the US and Canada
√√√ X X X X √√√√ X X X

 

Winner: CARFAX

 

What are the main differences between Carfax and AutoCheck reports?

The Carfax name is more trusted and recognized and Carfax also includes maintenance reports.  When compared to Carfax, Autocheck is cheaper, features a better rating system, and offers exclusive auction information.
AutoCheck’s main advantage over CarFax is its ability to track auction cars, whereas CarFax is known for not being able to track cars at auctions effectively. If you are buying an auctioned vehicle, then consider using Autocheck. They also provide a free AutoCheck score, which is a bit confusing but can be seen as useful. AutoCheck gives Buyback protection to registered and qualified vehicles. Additionally, it will return a list of comparable cars based on your AutoCheck score. They have a vehicle and a database of cars for sale, too.

You may not need to decide at all

You’re likely to receive a free report from one or both of these services if you’re buying from a dealer, broker, or online service.

There are similarities between both data sources. You may find that choosing the cheaper option: Autocheck is more practical if, for example, you want to make sure the car is not stolen.

What is Your Goal?
Start by acknowledging your goals so you can determine the best course of action. How detailed do you want the overview of the vehicle to be, are you just interested in making sure the sale is legit, are you concerned about the costs?  Based on these answers you can make the right choice between carfax vs autocheck.

If you want to use your vehicle daily, are you going to spend a lot of money on it, or are you simply going to buy the cheapest beater that will get you from point A to point B? Does it matter to you what kind of car you choose or do you want to take the cheapest one possible?

Any serious investor should use both Carfax and Autocheck. 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.

For comparing a wide range of cars, a 25 or 300-limit plan may be more useful. Buying an individual report separately for every vehicle you go look at is not practical as the cost will add up quickly. If this si the case then Autocheck is the better option as you can get 300 reports for only $99.99.

Autocheck vs Carfax Reddit Discussions

Reddit is a place that people trust to find deals from real users. It’s a place people often search when looking for genuine customer experiences.  We read through several subreddits such as Reddit.com/askcarsales and Reddit.com/r/CarSteals and came up with a list of possible concerns when using Autocheck or Carfax. There have been many such discussions and first-hand reports on consumer’s direct experience using both AutoCheck and Carfax. Many of these are negative experiences and complaints which we will summarize below.

Possible scams and disadvantages to using Vehicle history reports:

A Carfax and Autocheck report can be printed out by dealers before an inspection. In that case, any damage might not be included in the report until another request is submitted. The report’s date should always be checked.

Originally, Carfax and Autocheck customers were consumers, but now the dealers themselves make up the majority of their customer base. It is therefore in the interest of the dealers, their primary customers, to report less information. This encourages Carfax and Autocheck to report vehicles as being in good condition.

Also criticized is the carfax guarantee. In the fine print, you can see that the guarantee only applies to instances where Carfax fails to report an accident that has already been reported to them. Usually, this is hard to prove, thus making the guarantee difficult to claim.

Carfax and Autocheck get information from many different sources. Companies are paid to report things to them, and they pull information from publicly available sources. Most insurance companies and body shops don’t report vehicle information to Carfax. Most times, it will only appear if a police report was made.

Do not rely solely on vehicle history reports.  The failure to report certain things is not uncommon.

Source: https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2012/12/don-t-rely-on-used-car-history-reports/index.htm

 

Vehicle History Reports Aren’t Perfect

It is undeniable that both Carfax and Autocheck are very helpful, however, you should remember that both reports are limited to the information in their databases, meaning that even the most detailed report may have some inaccurate information.

If the vehicle has an undisclosed issue, Carfax can likely reveal it to you because it receives data from more sources. Additionally, Carfax indicates they will buy the vehicle back from you if there is an error on the vehicle history report.

Nevertheless, you’re not guaranteed to find every existing or potential problem if you use Carfax and Autocheck. There may be issues that have not been reported to either of them.

When you buy a used vehicle there is always a level of risk involved. A key to mitigating risk is to use tools like these. There is a tremendous amount of information available to you via both platforms. If you can, don’t rely exclusively on this information.

Get to know the vehicle by doing some research. Discover common issues related to the model you are studying. You can then ask the seller appropriate questions after learning about the common defects with a particular model. Then make sure to get the vehicle inspected by an independent mechanic.

Obviously, a seller can’t be totally trusted when it comes to the vehicle’s history. Occasionally, however, proving to be informed about a product is all that it takes to get sellers to be more open.

Conclusion: Get Both Reports + Get it checked by a Mechanic!

Getting both reports will give you peace of mind. Purchase reports only for cars you are genuinely interested in buying, get the vehicle physically inspected and do your own research beforehand.

 

Sample AutoCheck and Carfax Reports Side by Side:

autocheck vs carfax side by side reports

 

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