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If you are shopping for a car, a Carfax report is a must and we’re going to show you how to get a free Carfax report. Carfax reports help to give a customer valuable information about the vehicle and its history.
The more money you are investing, the more important it is to make sure you invest properly.
Although, the price for a Carfax may not seem like all that much; you have to order it on all cars that you are interested in researching. Certainly, these numbers will add up and make things quite expensive for you.
The good news is that there are a few ways to get a free vehicle history report. We will help you determine these ways and some alternatives that are almost as good as a Carfax.
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How much is a Carfax Report?
A report is $39.99. The $39.99 may not seem like all that much to ensure that the car that you are purchasing is, in fact, all that it claims to be. The trouble is, what if there is a problem with that Carfax?
If you run one Carfax and find there is a problem, chances are you will be checking a second and even a third report. When all is said and done, this process could cost you well over $100.
How to Get a Free Carfax Report
Although certain websites will run promotions from time to time, there are three well-known ways to get a free Carfax report. These three ways should work well, regardless of the time of year or type of car you are purchasing.
1. Use Carfax To Shop For A Used Car
There are many websites with used car listings to shop from. At the beginning of your search process, you may find that you like one used car company a bit better than another. If you enjoy shopping on the Carfax website, you will be in luck.
Each and every one of the vehicles listed on the Carfax website is going to come with a Carfax report. This is a great benefit and should give shoppers some peace of mind when purchasing a car from the site.
The Carfax website has a large selection of vehicles as they pull from many different sources. You won’t have to worry about missing out on potential deals or great car shopping on the website. Overall we found it very easy to use and navigate.
2. Check With Car Dealers For A Carfax
If you find the next used car of your dreams on a dealer’s website, you can usually find that there is access to a free Carfax. Many dealers will have a relationship with Carfax that allows them to show the report for each of their listings on the website.
If you are looking at the car’s listing and there is no report available, don’t give up hope. One option you have is to call the dealership. Some dealerships have the Carfax on the car but don’t put it on the public viewing website.
Chances are they are looking for you to call so they can get your information and help you in your car buying process. Ask if the Carfax is available and whether or not it can be sent to you.
Most dealers will comply and then continue to give you information about the car. Dealers may also know of other used vehicles that are not yet listed on the dealership website.
A great used car dealer will understand the importance of the vehicle history reports, and they will make sure that you get what you need.
3. Find Carfax Reports By Visiting Online Car Sites
Carfax is not the only online car website that offers users access to a report. We highly recommend looking at other local websites and national websites and seeing what information they will give out.
Most used car salesman and dealerships understand that people won’t make these large purchases without a Carfax report.
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If you are interested in a particular car, sometimes a call for more information may help you get the information you need without giving up the $39.99 fee.
As you can see, there are only three ways to obtain a free carfax report. The good news is that these three ways are relatively easy to access and won’t be much of an inconvenience for you. There are, however, some alternatives to finding Carfax reports.
Even though Carfax is very likely the most complete used vehicle report on the market, it is not entirely necessary to use the Carfax brand name. Sometimes you can collect enough information on your own that you won’t need the entire report.
Some of these alternatives may not give you the exact information you need, but we found we were able to piece together just enough to make a smart purchase.
As long as you have the VIN of the car you are interested in, you can use VINCheck.info. This is a great website that is entirely free of charge, and it will give you some background information on the car you are purchasing.
A VIN Number is a valuable piece of information to have about a car. This VIN will give buyers a way to check up on the previous owners and how they took care of the vehicles. Although VINCheck.info does not provide you with everything that a Carfax does, you get some very valuable information.
If the car has had any serious accidents, thefts, or liens against it, you will know before you purchase. Certainly, this is worth doing, especially for free!
You must do yourself a favor and take advantage of these free vehicle history reports while you can. There is truly no reason not to. With LemonChecks.com, you can make sure that the vehicle you are looking into purchasing is not, in fact, a Lemon!
We like these VIN number checks because, at the very least, you can check to make sure that the VIN is accurate. If the VIN number you are given on a used car does not pull up the correct vehicle, chances are there is a bit of a problem that needs to be dealt with.
With LemonChecks.com, you will get information on major accidents, title history, and car damage from a flood, even odometer rollbacks. The odometer rollbacks can be challenging to track, but you will see if there is a major issue with this on the car you are purchasing.
iSeeCars VIN Report
Of the three free alternatives to a Carfax report, the iSeeCars is the most comprehensive of the reports. This option will give you more information about your car than you could even possibly even want. The only problem is that not all cars are going to be available in this system.
If your car does happen to be available, you can get the information and sometimes even a link to a free Carfax. If we were purchasing a new car, we would put the VIN number into all of these websites to cross-reference and make sure we could pull as much information as possible.
The trick for the free Carfax report has been widely shared across many websites. We will include it so that you have access to it, but personally, we would recommend shopping on the Carfax website.
If you choose to try the Carfax Hack, you will have to follow these steps.
- Go to Google and search “dealer autocheck inurl:vin” (don’t put the quotes in when you do this search)
- When you press enter, a link will show up. Make sure this link matches the information that you are searching for and that it is relevant. If it is, click it.
- When this page opens up, you should see at the top there is a website URL followed by a backslash and then a VIN Number. Take this VIN Number out and replace it with the VIN number that you are searching for.
- Once you have replaced the VIN number, you can press enter.
- What pops up will be a vehicle history report for the car whose VIN number you entered.
Again, this is not necessarily the safest or best way to access a free Carfax; trying some of our other resources would likely be a better choice.
What Does a Carfax Report Show You?
If none of the ways to get a free Car fax report are working for you, it’s time to determine if the $39.99 is worth it to purchase a Carfax report. Understanding exactly what this report has on it and whether or not it is worth it is essential.
A Car’s History
The most important part of the Carfax report is the general history of the vehicle. You will get a rating and information about the type of life this car has had. A VIN number gives us essentially a way to track the vehicle all the way back to when it was first produced.
The first year of VIN numbers was 1981. Since then, people have been able to track everything that goes on in a car’s history. Not only does this keep the next buyer safe, but it also keeps car dealerships and car mechanics honest as well.
If A Vehicle’s Been Damaged
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One of the biggest things that you are going to want to look for in the car’s history is whether or not the car has been damaged. If a vehicle has been damaged, it may change your mind about the future of the car.
Depending on the type of damage, there may be no effect on the vehicle’s future functionality. If, however, the car has a major accident, you will probably want to think twice about purchasing the vehicle.
Many people use the Carfax report to negotiate a better price for the car they want to purchase. You can sometimes use the fact that the car was in an accident to try and talk the previous owner down on their total sale price for the vehicle.
Some accidents are not worth worrying about. As we all know, a car can handle a slight bump to the front fender and have no issues with the next owner. Be smart about the accident report and what exactly was involved when it comes to the damage the car sustained.
A Vehicle’s Odometer History
One of the major issues that people run into when purchasing a used vehicle is issues with the odometer. Tampering with an odometer is not legal, but unfortunately, it does happen. When an odometer on a car is changed, it can make the vehicle seem much newer than it is.
For instance, would you want to purchase a $10,000 car with 100,000 miles on it or 30,000 miles on it? Clearly, the 30,000-mile odometer would make you think that the car had many more years left in it. Without an accurate odometer reading, we don’t know exactly what we are buying.
Each time any work is done on a vehicle, a reading of the odometer is tracked. If the car goes in for an oil change and the odometer is at 80,000 miles, it certainly won’t make sense if the next reading is 50,000 miles.
Potential car buyers will want to pay close attention to the odometer reading to make sure that it is continually going up. Check the current odometer on the car listing information and make sure that it makes sense with the other readings through the years.
Vehicle History Report
The ownership history of the car is another important factor you will see on the Carfax report. The ownership allows you to see if this was a car passed from one person to the next or if it had one loyal and caring owner.
Another thing the ownership history will allow you to see is if the car was owned by a rental company or a private user.
One of the things that you will come to realize when purchasing used cars is that people who purchase one car and hold onto it for many years tend to take better care of it. When a car gets passed from one owner to the next each year, the quality of the care of the car tends to go down.
Look for a car that has only been with one or two owners if you want something that was well cared for.
Did you know that each time you take your car in for an oil change or any type of scheduled maintenance, it is recorded on your Carfax report? This is a great way to keep a vehicle maintenance history report without you having to do anything.
If you are a person who likes to work on your car yourself, make sure that you keep detailed records. With the convenience of vehicle history reports, people want to see these maintenance records. If you do the maintenance on your own, you will have to supply your own records.
Roadside assistance and vehicle maintenance are things that need to be kept up with. Purchasing a three-year-old car that has 50,000 miles but has never had an oil change is probably a poor decision. There are parts of the vehicle that will not hold up long term if the proper maintenance is not followed.
Of course, you will want to look over all of this information and take it seriously. However, you can’t expect that every car you consider purchasing will have a clean report. This is simply not the case. Most cars have something on them that will probably make you question your decision. This is all part of used car buying.
Does Carfax Have a Report for Every Car?
Carfax does not have a complete vehicle history on every single car. The database they have is more extensive than any other car vehicle history competitor, but it is not complete.
We will say that it is also rare that your car will not have a Carfax available for it. You will find that you will easily be able to access the information you need more often than not.
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Carfax will let you know if they have the reports available for the VIN in question. You will not have to pay before checking on the availability of the Carfax reports.
Can I run a VIN for free?
Running a VIN number on a car is easy to do for free with websites like VINCheck.info and LemonChecks.com. Both of these websites allow users to run the VIN and check for a basic report of information.
Although the free VIN reports will not be quite as extensive as the paid Carfax, they could be all the information you need. Personally, if we can see that a car has been well cared for and has not had any major accidents, it may be enough to pull the trigger.
What’s a VIN?
A VIN number is a Vehicle Identification Number. It is a bit similar to how a person has a social security number. The VIN number is a way to track the vehicle as it moves from one location to another and from one owner to another.
Having to keep individual records on cars is a thing of the past. The VIN (vehicle identification number) keeps information accurate and people honest about the history of the vehicle.
How to Find Your Car’s VIN
The VIN Number should not be difficult to find on your car. For most cars, the number will be on the front of the dashboard on the driver’s side.
You will usually have to read the VIN by exiting the car and looking in through the driver’s side windshield. These VINs are printed relatively small and can be challenging to read.
VIN numbers can also be found on car insurance documents, the vehicle title, and registration cards. If you enter your VIN and it comes back as invalid, make sure that you have properly entered the information.
Another location where you may find the VIN is on the driver’s side door. The area where the VIN will be located is where the door closes. You may see other information imprinted in this area with more information in addition to the VIN.
If you can’t find the VIN on your vehicle, check the owner’s manual for the exact location. Most of the time, it is quite apparent.
Is Carfax ever wrong?
Carfax is not 100%, but it is close. The company does the best job possible to ensure that all information contained in the report is as accurate as it can be.
The short answer to this question is yes; Carfax can be wrong. That being said, the chance for error is quite small. If you do find an error on your report, you can contact Carfax and they will work to correct the mistake.
Does Carfax expire?
No, your CARFAX report does not expire. The information in your report is historical and remains valid indefinitely.
That said, they do issue credits that are valid for 4 years from the date of purchase. These credits can be used to get updated reports on the same vehicle or to get reports on other vehicles.
So, while your report never expires, the credits do. Hope this helps!
There is no doubt that the information on a Carfax report is valuable and essential. The problem is that this information is going to cost you $39.99 for each vehicle.
Getting a carfax report free will undoubtedly help make your car buying process a bit cheaper. With all of the money spent on purchasing a new car, if you can save $39.99 or more, you will probably be quite open to the idea.
Keep in mind that sometimes all it takes is a phone call to a dealer to get the information you want. If you show your interest, they will be more than happy to help.
Don’t forget to check out these tips for getting free gas for your new car!