Has anyone tried CARFAX to check a VIN number ?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by fab5freddy, Jun 18, 2009.

  1. fab5freddy macrumors 65816


    Jan 21, 2007
    Heaven or Hell
    Has anyone tried CARFAX to check a VIN number ?
    And is there a free alternative ?

    Also, What are some precautions to take when buying a
    used Car. I was thinking along the lines of a Honda Accord...
  2. reh macrumors 6502a

    Oct 24, 2003
    I purchased the month-long unlimited service from Carfax when I was shopping for a used vehicle in 2001. I ran the VIN of every car I was interested in. I never turned up anything fishy, but I would definitely use the service again.

    Before you sign the papers on a used car, it's usually a good idea to have an independent mechanic give the vehicle a once-over to check for obvious problems. The last time I did this, the inspection was free because I was going to be having more work done by their shop.
  3. labman macrumors 604


    Jun 9, 2009
    Mich near Detroit
    Carfax is great

    yes defiantly worth it can tell you if the vehicle was in accident a salvage, recalls etc. if you are getting one from a dealer tell them to pull it. car dealers use Carfax all the time and if they don't I would be suspicious. I would not but from a dealer or other wise with out one. lbut dealer should pay Carfax.

    And before I bought I have my own mechanic look over the car ask on creiglst if you need tons of people looking for side work.
  4. mscriv macrumors 601


    Aug 14, 2008
    Dallas, Texas
    If your going used it's hard to beat the big three, Honda, Nissan, Toyota. Any reputable dealer will pull a Carfax for free. If you're Craigslist shopping then you will have to do it yourself online. Carfax will let you know vehicle history as far as ownership, mileage, inspections, and repair work. Keep in mind if someone has done their own repairs then that will not show up on the report.
  5. steve2112 macrumors 68040


    Feb 20, 2009
    East of Lyra, Northwest of Pegasus
    I have used it on my last two purchases. It is well worth it to get the month long service, since it's only a few bucks more than the single report. I found a few things here and there, like the one that had 3 accident reports in 2 years. Granted, they may have all been minor fender-benders, but I still didn't want one that had been abused like that. It also helped me avoid a couple of cars that had been on the Gulf Coast in Aug 2005 when Katrina paid a visit.

    As someone else pointed out, you still probably want to take any vehicle you are considering to be checked out. Reporting accidents and insurance claims is optional, as long as the title status isn't affected. (Salvaged, stolen, etc) A car could be in many accidents, and you might not know it if they were never reported to Carfax.
  6. NXTMIKE macrumors 6502

    Nov 11, 2008
    this isn't really what you're asking, but i saw a whole TV documentary on how CARFAX was unreliable and simply "bad". If I find a link for you to view it, I'll post it here.
  7. benflick macrumors 68020


    Jul 11, 2008
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Carfax is great, the price seems high ($20), but it's really not too bad. If you are very interested in a car, this seals the deal.
  8. question fear macrumors 68020

    question fear

    Apr 10, 2003
    The "Garden" state
    I once ran the carfax for my car out of idle curiousity. It correctly listed that there had been a major accident, but i didn't spring for paying for the report to get details.

    I did buy a used car from a toyota dealer, it was the loaner car for the service center with 3300 miles on it. Literally as soon as I finished the test drive the salesman was showing me the carfax, they had it taped up in an envelope inside the car for customers to see.

    If you find a dealership that won't even offer the carfax, run.

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