In this article, we list several CarFax alternatives. While these alternatives are not free, they are significantly cheaper than carfax.
While you should always run a history report, do not relay 100% on a history report, even on CarFax. Even CarFax and AutoCheck can miss frame, accident and body damage.
VIN Lookup sites that will save you money.
There is no such thing as a free history report.
Certainly, there is nothing more annoying that websites that lie and say FREE history reports just to get you hooked.
Even worse are the websites that will state "FREE VIN History" but only offer FREE spam and viruses.
You can use the National Insurance Crime Bureau to check if a vehicle has any Theft Record or Total Loss / Rebuilt / Salvage History.
It's completely free but it does not provide any vehicle maintenance or minor accident records.
A Vehicle History Report can tell you a lot about a car, including.
Always run a history report to find out major title problems. But keep in mind that even issues can be missed by a history report. We strongly recommend also to do a pre-sale inspection on cars that you are looking to purchase.
If you are buying from a dealer, ask them to private the vehicle history report. Most of them provide it for free.
And even if they don't normally, if you state that you are going to buy the car but want to see the history report first. The same goes for private party owners as well. The only concern is if the seller is honest or not. A history report provided by someone else can be easily faked or items can be erased from the downloaded report.
When dealing with a private party, it's best to run your own history reports and here is your best alternative. If you are looking at lots of cars, and need a cheap alternative to CarFax or Autocheck look at our top 3 alternatives above.
That's a very good question. The information provided on a car vehicle history report can vary depending on the report provider.
All the VIN providers will show you at a minimum this data:
This is some of the most basic data that is pulled from NMVTIS Data (National Motor Vehicle Title Information System) - Official Government Source.
All the Top 3 History Providers we listed above, including CarFax and AutoCheck pull data from NMVTIS Government Database. From our experience, AutoCheck is a good at showing the damage announcements related to cars sold at auto auctions.
CarFax does better with showing maintenance history. Keep in mind that even the car history report can miss important problems with the car. Especially frame and auction announced damages.
With so many cars being flooded, title washing is a real concern.
What is title washing?
Title washing hides the history of a vehicle that's been salvaged.
Titles are washed by transferring a salvaged vehicle to a state that doesn't recognize the brand.
When the state issues a new title, it may no longer show that it was salvaged. If not, the seller will move it from state to state until the title is washed clean.
Because a vehicle history report shows the full history of the car, you will know if the title has been washed.
Odometer tampering continues to be a serious crime and consumer fraud issue.
There are dishonest sellers out there who intentionally roll odometers back so they can artificially inflate the vehicle's value. Vehicles that have low mileage are priced higher.
If you belive you have been a victim of odometer fraud, report fraud to federal government investigator in your state.