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Is Carfax Reliable or a Scam?

How reliable is Carfax?

CARFAX reports aren’t perfect but they’re better than nothing at all. Carfax provides some information about the vehicle that is not readily available elsewhere. However, you should be aware of the limitations on what they will tell you. For example, Carfax may not know if the vehicle has been repaired. You may find that there are more accidents in the car than what is reported by Carfax. The repair records could be incomplete. They are known for sometimes providing inaccurate reports because of what is called “chain of title” problems. A repair shop may not have recorded the repairs they made on the vehicle resulting in incomplete information. They also have a poor reputation when it comes to tracking auction transactions. If you have questions about the reliability of CARFAX reports, you can always contact Carfax at 1-703-934-2664.

Check your car’s VIN before buying!

Your car’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) helps you determine the history of the vehicle. Using the VIN number you can look up the detailed history using the Carfax service. The Carfax vehicle history report is based on the VIN number of the car being examined. This unique serial number is used to identify a particular vehicle within their database.

Do auto repair shops report to CARFAX?

Some auto repair shops do report to CARFAX but not all. You can find out if a shop has reported its work on the Carfax website. If the owner has repaired their vehicle from a private garage or even a used car dealership then it may not be included in the Carfax report at all.

Is Carfax a Scam?

Carfax is not a scam. They are simply trying to make money by charging you for a service that is fairly reliable although not perfect. You can get their report on most cars by ordering a Carfax report, but be prepared to pay $39.99 or more per report. They also offer upsells and you can end up buying 3 reports for $99 without even knowing it until you check your credit card statement and realize the actual pricing. Sometimes essentials details and accidents are not included in the report because the repair shop or mechanic that fixed it did not report it.

Even dealerships have their own in-house mechanics to fix cars and often won’t report the damages to Carfax because it is in the dealer’s best interest not to. Also, consider that carfax’s main customer is car dealerships so it is in Carfax best interest to report less information to make their customers (the car dealer) happy.

If you are not happy with the information contained in the report or suspect that important information has been intentionally omitted, you can try to get a refund by calling carfax and asking for it. Their support staff will most likely tell you that there is nothing they can do for you if they have already charged your account. They will probably try to convince you that they have done nothing wrong and their records will show that the charge was valid.

If someone feels like they have been scammed by CARFAX, then then they should report the issue with their company or website directly to the Better Business Bureau. CARFAX is not a company that can be trusted to provide accurate information. They are also known for having issues with the data they report. CARFAX reports are often outdated, inaccurate, and unreliable. If you rely on CARFAX reports to help you make a car purchase decision, then you should know that they are not always accurate. There are many issues that can occur with your CARFAX report. There are many complaints about the customer service at CARFAX on websites like Ripoff Report. There have been numerous complaints.

Inaccurate CARFAX Reports

Carfax reports can sometimes have inaccurate data. CARFAX has been known to make mistakes and they have a history of not being able to produce accurate information. The reason that this is such a problem is that people use CARFAX as an authority on what their car should be worth or how much money it should bring in at a car auction.

When these errors occur, it is very common for people to ignore them and assume that the car is accident-free and free of any problems. Unfortunately, there are some people who are trying to steal money from unsuspecting buyers by submitting false reports. CARFAX claims to only use information from police reports and insurance companies as well as other third-party sources. It is obvious that these are not the only sources of information that CARFAX uses to produce its reports. CARFAX reports are only as accurate as of the data that they’re based on.

If someone purposely lies about something in an attempt to defraud someone then it will result in an inaccurate report. According to consumer reports, customers have complained of getting a clean carfax to only find out later that the vehicle was part of the fleet use from rental companies or perhaps  it was frequently traded in auto auctions. These can be red flags.

Carfax Errors

There are many ways that CARFAX can be wrong.

Here are some of the most common errors that sometimes show up on carfax reports:

  • CARFAX lists the wrong make or model: There are many different makes and models of cars. CARFAX lists the make or model that they’re most likely to find on a particular vehicle. If you have a car that’s not listed, it may still be reported as such by CARFAX if there is enough data available for them to make a report
  • CARFAX reports can be outdated: This is why you should make sure that you check your CARFAX report every time you get a new one.
  • NO reports found in the Carfax database: If there’s no data available for your vehicle, it will show up as “0” (zero) on your CARFAX report. The time frame between when the car was manufactured and when it’s most likely to be sold can also affect how many data points are available for your vehicle.
  • There may be an error in the title number: CARFAX will make an error when reporting the vehicle’s title number. This is because some states do not enter the VIN (vehicle identification number) into their databases. In this case, CARFAX can’t report a title number for your car and they will just leave it blank.

How to remove an accident from Carfax?

If you find that something is reported incorrectly on your carfax such as an accident then there is a process to have the entry removed from the report. Document whatever proof you have such as the Car’s title and then visit the carfax website. Proceed to the carfax corrections claim center and click on “Current vehicle owners can submit data correction requests here.” Then you will be asked to submit your name, address, city, state, telephone number, email address, and vehicle VIN (Vehicle Identification Number). If you are the current owner you can submit your proofs and wait for carfax to reply.

Can You Trust CARFAX Reports?

It’s important to understand that CARFAX reports can be wrong but there are some things that you can check on your own. CARFAX is a very reputable company, but they have been known to make mistakes. It is common for them to have some discrepancies in their reports. This happens when the CARFAX service cannot produce accurate information on your vehicle The reason why you shouldn’t rely on your CARFAX report is that it can be wrong. Always have a certified mechanic perform an inspection on the vehicle. A trusted mechanic will be able to tell you if the vehicle was ever in a major accident or needs major repairs. After they inspect your vehicle, you will have a better idea if anything has been left out from the carfax report.

What information is contained in CARFAX vehicle history reports?

Vehicle History Reports such as the Carfax report include many different aspects of a car’s history / vehicle’s condition including title and ownership history, service and maintenance reports, accident history, serious damage, flood damage, wrecks, emissions history, salvage title history, odometer readings, insurance claim information, collision insurance reports and more.

Carfax Alternatives:

If you are worried about the reliability of carfax than it is a good idea to spend a few extra dollars and also compare it with an alternative report. The most popular alternatives to carfax are AutoCheck, Vincheck, Faxvin,, NICB, NMVTIS and Instavin reports. We recommend that you read through the consumer reviews and trustworthy vehicle history partners to choose what is best for you. They have similar branding however the main difference between the services is the cost of their vehicle reports while others such as NICB are completely free to use. These sites provide a similar service to carfax, but they don’t offer as much detail. However, these services are cheaper than the full version of Carfax.

Carfax vs Autocheck

Autocheck is the number one competitor to Carfax. Carfax and Autocheck are both vehicle history reports that provide a report of the automobile’s history. Carfax and Autocheck report on some different information. Autocheck offers vehicle history reports with similar data points but more detailed information for auctioned cars whereas Carfax also provides maintenance and service records.

How reliable is Carfax


CARFAX is a good starting place but shouldn’t be your only source of info. Don’t be satisfied with a clean carfax history report. Carfax relies on its customers, garages, police reports and dealerships, and other third-party tools to gather information about your vehicle. It is quite possible that information is missing due to human error or negligence on Carfax’s part. It is best to check the car’s consumer reports and reviews to learn about common issues with the car. Finally also have the car inspected by a trusted mechanic, buy an alternative report, and go on a test drive before making your final decision. This will help you get more accurate information about what kind of vehicle it is, the condition, and how much it’s worth, and if you should buy it or not.

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