Vehicle History Reports
by Pat Goss
Buying a used car can be a great way to save money, but it means that you have to do your homework to avoid problems. And here to give us some pointers is Chris Basso from Carfax. Chris, welcome to Goss' Garage.
Chris: Great to be here, Pat.
Goss: Tell me a little bit about what Carfax brings to the table for the car buyer.
Chris: Carfax collects information from over 77 thousand sources, like the Department of Motor Vehicles, a dealership, or even a service location. And all that information for a specific car can be unlocked using the seventeen digit vehicle identification number. If you're buying a used car, start with a Carfax vehicle history report.
Goss: Alright, now we have this report, we're going to see what types of information on it?
Chris: Reported accidents, service information, a possible odometer rollback, all the important information that you want to know, to help you make a smart buying decision.
Goss: Alright now, like this car, which we know was a flood car, it's totaled, that would show up.
Chris: That would show up right at the top of the report in bright red letters. It's a warning that you may not want to purchase this car, or look deeper into it, have a qualified mechanic inspect it, but go through the report, find all the information that's been reported to Carfax, and take it from there to make a smart buying decision.
Goss: Alright, now, another thing that I've noticed on your reports is the open recalls, which I think is very important.
Chris: Open recalls is a major issue these days, last year there were 2.1 million cars that were for sale with an open recall. It's an alarming number that is only getting bigger as more recalls happen. These are safety defects that the manufacturer has identified, but unfortunately people are not taking these cars to get them fixed.
Goss: Yeah, and just by virtue of their name alone, as a “safety defect,” you'd think people would rush off to get them done.
Chris: Absolutely, they can affect the airbags, they can cause fires, they can cause accidents. If you find that the car you own or the car that you want to buy has an open recall, take it to a franchise dealer, they're going to fix it, often times for free.
Goss: Ok. Alright. So this is a real workable tool for to avoid stepping into something that is going to cost you a lot of grief or a lot of money.
Chris: Used cars can be a great value, and for most people they are a really good buy, but unfortunately some used cars have inherent problems. By starting with a Carfax report, and then taking the car to a qualified mechanic, you can find any problems that may exist with that vehicle, and make sure you're putting you and your family in a safe, reliable used car.
Goss: Chris, thank you. And if you have a question or comment, drop me a line, right here at MotorWeek.