How to Read a CARFAX Vehicle History Report

CARFAX logo that reads: CARFAX VEHICLE HISTORY REPORTS in black and white colors

If you are planning to buy a used car, there are few things you should do before you even take a test drive. You have done your research and short-listed vehicles that meet your budget and other criteria. The next step is to get the VIN number (Vehicle Identification Number) and check its history. CARFAX is a well-known company that maintains databases on vehicles with a comprehensive history. You can get a report by paying $40.

How To Read a CARFAX Report

There are few items that you should look at on the report before you buy. Items like salvage history, accidents, and frequent changes in ownership are important. Even the time of year is important when buying a used vehicle.

1. Would you buy a car which has changed hands many times? A CARFAX report will have this information at the bottom. If you see this, do not buy the vehicle because it indicates serious problems. It could cost you more than the car is worth to get it fixed.

2. The lack of an emissions report or incidence of failed tests is one of the CARFAX red flags to look for. Any emissions test which is over a year old without subsequent information should take the vehicle out of contention.

3. Another item to check on a car’s report is if it was ever in a coastal area. This item could indicate potential issues. Rust from humidity and flooding due to hurricanes will show up. You do not want to get a vehicle that was refurbished after it was flooded.

It is fine to check the information on a vehicle report and double-check with private owners on aspects like maintenance and length of ownership. This information is verifiable and if it does not match, move on to the next vehicle on your list.

If you want to buy a used vehicle, you should consider CPO vehicles offered by the Capital Ford of Wilmington dealership. The Ford CPO Program offers many added benefits and is backed by a warranty. This dealership also deals in trade-in vehicles, which means they have a good inventory of new and used. Even dealerships generate CARFAX reports on used vehicles to ensure that there are no problems. The Capital Ford of Wilmington dealership in Wilmington, NC also serves communities in Jacksonville, Topsail Beach, and Wrightsville Beach.

Source: CARFAX