Carfax and AutoCheck
When you are preparing to purchase a previously owned vehicle, there are many questions you are probably asking yourself. One of these such questions is probably: "What is my car's accident history?" No one wants to purchase a car that looks perfect on the outside; but, when they get it home and get it serviced, they find out that there was a hidden problem. This is what is commonly referred to as a "lemon" - a car that looks great but packs a sour punch! There are ways to search your car's accident history - before you purchase it. There are two very well known companies that offer a car history reporting service-Carfax and AutoCheck. Although they differ on some aspects of the service they provide, both companies offer a way to review the accident history of a car before you purchase the vehicle. Carfax and AutoCheck use the car's VIN number to locate valuable information on the car: make and model, last odometer reading, any accidents, number of owners, and a title check. Based on this information, AutoCheck will make a recommendation. Along with all the same features as AutoCheck, Carfax also checks for service records on the car to insure that the car has been properly maintained.
Not all used cars come with a Carfax or AutoCheck history attached to them. This may be an important fact for you to consider as you search for quality used vehicles. Be sure that any pre-owned vehicle you consider has an accurate accident history report available for your inspection.
AutoCheck also provides the same simple tests as Carfax. The interesting thing about this company is that they also offer Buyback Protection. This means that if you read the car's history and it comes out clean, but, upon getting it home, you discover something that was not listed on the history (and it should be), then you will be able to return the car. They have a policy of "If we miss it, we buy it back" regarding the vehicle in question.
Carfax does four free checks: lemon check, record check, recall check, and problem car. Each of these contains information that has been received from a variety of sources, such as the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, J.D. Power and Associates, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and Intellichoice. The vehicle history provided by theses sources are very accurate, and they make used car-buying that much more fun.
If you like to read a little bit more about what a company does before you actually visit their website, than you may find this Carfax article by wikipedia.com to be very helpful. This article deals with how the company got started as well as the different searches and tests they perform on the vehicles in question.