In vehicle merchandising, one core component which is considered by consumers as very important is vehicle history reports. They are comparable to specifications, multiple photos and pricing, only they are much more employed when it comes to used vehicles. CARFAX was the only brand that exists which offered vehicle history reports. They succeeded in building their brand to the point that the vehicle history report is already synonymous to its name. Hence, the popular catch phrase “Show me the CARFAX” is usually heard at car dealerships. For the longest time, It didn’t have a strong competition and they were able to establish their pricing and no one ever complained. That was until Autocheck happened.
Autocheck is a part of Experian which is a trusted global leader in information services focused on helping consumers make the best financial and purchasing decisions. Experian may be trusted but the fact that Autocheck is not as established as CARFAX makes it an insignificant factor. However, as the price of CARFAX subscriptions went up, dealers and purchasers alike began to seek other options, because there were options. In the auto auctions, for instance, Autocheck has become an existing standard making it CARFAX’s leading competitor. But the question is, is it better?
Let us break down some criteria that make either vehicle history report provider better than the other.
The CARFAX report have services recorded whenever an owner goes to a dealership for maintenance, or an auto repair chain. Also included are mileage disclosures and contact information for the verification of the repairs made. If you are considering buying a vehicle that has recognized and costly drawbacks, the data obtainable from this can save you thousands compared to that of an Autocheck report.
Both companies are equally competent when it comes to recording of accident histories. No major difference can be found in these two firms’ VHR in the aspect of accident history. However, if accident history is a big concern, Autocheck might be a more favorable option. They give a more comprehensive catalog of cars with frame damage because of the fact that they have strong connections with auto-auctions. Any car with an accident history should have its frame damage history inspected.
Emissions history should focus on recent data. It is therefore necessary to verify that the emissions are current because if not, then there might be a need to shell out more cash for serious repair costs in the near future. Both Autocheck and CARFAX do a great job in the verification of emissions’ date. Thus, in this criterion, both are tied.
How long a car stays with its owner is a good indication of its reliability. If it only had one or two owners, then it probably was considered a keeper due to its faultless quality. On the other hand, if it was passed on from owner to owner in relatively short periods of time then it must have been that case for a reason. Probably, the car had a lot of maintenance problems that its previous owners tend to easily give up on it. Given that details of ownership are important, it is significant to say that CARFAX does a better job at distinguishing ownerships and they do it very efficiently. Not only do they mention change in the state where these cars are registered, they also note a change in ownership.
And the winner is…
Having read all the comparisons above and judging by quantity of wins, CARFAX is a better option. This is probably due to its solid foundation and popularity. Yet, it must be noted that Autocheck seems to be a better bargain when it comes to cost but CARFAX provided more relevant information about the cars in question. Whether you agree with this or not, it is best to see for yourself what VHR brand caters better to your needs.
ABC News’ David Muir investigates the popular car history service.