If you’re in the market for a used car, you’ll most certainly be looking at a vehicle history report. It’s the only way to get an overview of the vehicle’s past.
Something to always keep in mind is that the sources that fuel the vehicle history report, rely solely on available and reported data. There’s a lot of information that doesn’t make it into a history report. As an example - a rental car company may choose to not file an accident report and fix the vehicle on their own. An individual owner can also do this. This example demonstrates why it is crucial to have any vehicle you are thinking of purchasing inspected by a certified mechanic. The vehicle history report is not 100% comprehensive nor accurate.
All sources provide a disclosure similar to the one CarFax has saying the following:
The main sources of vehicle history data comes from: state title agencies, police reports, repair shops, auto auctions, manufacturers, and car dealers. Vehicle history data is dependent on this information being reported and accurate in order for the vehicle history to be comprehensive.
Look at the vehicle history report first to weed out vehicles that have reported red flags (we offer vehicle history data for free) and to protect yourself from unknowns. And always, always take the vehicle to be inspected by a certified mechanic to uncover any hidden issues.