Why you cannot rely on Carfax or Autocheck Reports

These services are often used by used car dealers to show that the car has a clean title and history. But these services are just not reliable for several reasons.

The best source of accident records is CLUE

Carfax and Autocheck get their records from insurance companies and some other sources, but not enough sources to be truly complete. The best source of accident records is the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (“CLUE”). This is a where the insurance companies all share information about cars and wrecks. They don’t share information with either Carfax or Autocheck.

Uninsured Cars Have No Damage Report

If a car is uninsured when its damaged, there is no insurance company to which to report such damage.

Insurance Companies Sell Cars To Wholesale
Insurance Company Sells Car To Wholesale

Frequently, when Carfax or Autocheck reports damage, it is not until many months after the damage has been fixed. Often times, its after the car has been fixed and then resold.

Dealer Buy Car, Fixes It And Sells It To You
Dealer Buy Car, Fixes It And Sells It To You

You were never told about the prior flooding damage

When a dealer buys a car from an auction or wholesaler, the dealer inspects that car and the Carfax report. If the car has unreported damage, the dealer will often tell the consumer that the car has had no damage. “Don’t believe me? Just check the Carfax.” It’s completely misleading.

Best way to protect yourself from a bad used car?  Check the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (“NMVTIS”) at www.vehiclehistory.gov.  For a nominal fee, you can put in the VIN of the car you propose to buy and get as good and complete a history report as you can.

The Certified Preowned Myth

Most manufacturers have a Certified Preowned (“CPO”) program where their dealers will purchase or take their own brand of cars in on trade in. They require their dealers to put them through a multi point inspection and will purportedly extend the car’s warranty. Often times, this is just a scam to get used cars sold and out the door. Dealers spend far more time detailing the car to make it look pretty than to make sure its mechanically sound.

Online dealers such as Carmax are now getting into the Certified pre owned hustle with the same result; car is made more attractive than safe.

Checklist of questions to take with you

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The “As Is” Myth

Dealers make money by selling cars. Sometimes they do that by selling lies such as telling a customer that “this car is well maintained”, or “never been in an accident”, “only minor damage” or my favorite “this was an executive car” while knowing in truth that the car is CRAP. Dealers will then try to hide behind the fact that you are buying the car “As is” thinking that they can sell you a story along with the CRAP car. Don’t believe it.

Lying to consumer about the truth of a car is never protected by an “As Is” clause. Buying a car, as is, merely means that you purchasing the car in its current and known status. If the dealer knows that the car has been in a major accident, flood or has had chronic mechanical problems, it must disclose these things to you.

If you return your used car because its not driving right or something is not functioning on it properly, don’t let the dealer tell you that you bought the car “As is.” Lets find out what’s wrong with the car and then lets see if the dealer knew about it. If so, lets make the dealer fix the problem or pay you damages.

Going Online To Buy a Used Car? Buyer Beware!

Just about everyone goes online before shopping for anything from pencils to houses. In 2021, 30% of all used car purchases were made online through sellers like Carmax, Carvana, Vroom, and Driveaway. These online dealers are coming into business quickly and growing even faster. Perhaps some are suffering growing pains.

Case in point….Carvana

Carvana has especially had its share of growing pains. It has sold cars that it has not delivered. It has also sold cars and failed to deliver titles to them. Without a title to the car, you can’t own and register it. The I-Team from Jacksonville Florida did an investigation into Carvana and discovered that the State of Florida against Carvana for taking too long to turn over car titles to 8 people to whom it sold cars.

To date, according to the Wall Street Journal, dozens of consumers have filed complaints with state regulators and hundreds have filed complaints with the Better Business Bureau against Carvana due to the long delays in receiving the titles to the cars that they purchased. The State of North Carolina suspended Carvana’s auto dealer license for six months.

Beware Of Buying A Used Car Online

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