Car History Reports – How to avoid a vehicle that has had an accident

Car history reports, CarFax, Car Proof, Auto Check – what do these mean to the average  car buyer ? When you are buying a replacement car it is important to know the history of the car your are buying. This is particularly important with used or pre Owned cars.  Knowing a car’s history can save a buyer thousands of dollars and prevent some very unpleasant surprises once you own it. This said there are some pitfalls and traps to watch out for reading these reports.

Car accidents can and do happen – this is a fact of life. Having been in the automobile business for 30 plus years , not all cars that have had and accident scare me nor should they scare a buyer.   There is a significant difference between a fender bender accident and one that had frame or uni-body damage.  As a professional I have no issues with minor accident or fender bender’s but I definitely steer my clients away from vehicles that have had significant body repairs. The key is to be informed and to inspect the vehicle completely to insure that any vehicle was properly repaired to the manufacturer standards.

The best line of defence against buying a bad vehicle is to purchase it from a reputable licensed local dealer or at the very least if you are buying privately take it to a trusted automotive repair shop and ask them to do a thorough inspection. Third party inspections paid for by the purchaser for any purchase insure you know what you are buying.

CarProofIn Canada the most common car history report that professionals use is CarProof. CarProof has a system that searches millions of databases to find the history related to the particular VIN number.  CarProof reports cost approximately $50.00. If you working with a reputable dealer you should be able to obtain a copy for free. These reports are easy to read and interpret. Consumers should realize that although all these companies strive to provide the most up to date and accurate data, nothing replaces a complete physical inspection by a professional.

Buying a used car or Pre-owned car save you a ton of money. Spend time on the internet and research the car you are thinking about. Make sure you know the pricing before you start your search. When searching through the many car adverting and listings sites realize that good cars cost real money, cars you see advertised or being sold at prices that are below market value often have a story attached and it is generally not a pretty one.

Buying a used or Pre-owned car is a bit more work than a new car but you can literally save thousands of dollars. My motto is buy a good quality car first and pay reasonable money. Don’t let the aesthetics’ of a pretty car fool you. – Hup Clark

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