We link a free Carfax vehicle history report to every one of our vehicle listings. We do this because we believe that Carfax often provides information that is helpful to a used car shopper in making a decision. What many people do not know is that Carfax does not inspect vehicles themselves and has no way to verify the accuracy of the information they are reporting. Vehicle history reports can update and add new information at any time, which is why we believe that a decision about purchasing a vehicle should be made based more on its current condition, rather than it’s past history.
No accidents reported to Carfax simply means that Carfax has not received a report of any accidents. It does not mean that a vehicle has not been in an accident though, just that Carfax has no record of it. Accidents often go unreported to police and insurance companies, Carfax’s main sources for accident data. That’s why we alway encourage our customers to consider a cars current condition, rather than it’s past history.
In most cases, accidents are reported to Carfax through police reports. It does not matter the severity. Anytime the event is reported, it will appear on the vehicle history report. Why consider a vehicle with an accident report? Savings! A vehicle with a reported accident will typically sell for about 10%-20% less than a vehicle with a “Clean Carfax”.. That means that a vehicle that might typically sell for $20,000, would likely be priced somewhere between $16,000 and $18,000. That $2000-$4000 savings means that a customer can purchase a newer vehicle with more remaining factory warranty. If you’re financing, it also translates into a lower monthly payment. Each thousand equates to a $20 savings, so a $4000 savings means a savings of about $80 per month. Remember, Carfax only knows what’s been reported to it. That means a vehicle with a “Clean Carfax” may still have been involved in an unreported collision. It also means that once reported, the Carfax may update to include the previous accident.
When vehicles are returned to the manufacturer at the end of the lease, they are usually sent to auction where they are sold to licensed car dealers like us. Prior to being offered for sale, auctions perform a visual inspection, checking for any existing or prior damage. If the inspector notes the repair or replacement of any welded-on component of the vehicle, an announcement is typically made disclosing the repair. That announcement, typically “structural repair”, is often provided to vehicle history reporting services such as Carfax. While Carfax discloses this information as “structural damage”, the correct term in most cases is “structural repair”, which denotes the fact that the damage is no longer existing. Structural damage or repair has more to do with the location of the damage, as opposed to the severity. That’s because damage of less than 1 inch is still considered structural if it’s to a structural component of the vehicle. Common structural components which are easily damaged in even the most minor fender benders include the trunk floor, rocker panels (the panels that run along the bottom of the vehicle below the doors), and inner wheel housings. These panels are easily damaged in low speed collisions because they are virtually unprotected from even the slightest impact. Sometimes the damage isn’t even caused by an accident at all. Parking barriers, jacks, and automotive lifts can all cause structural damage. So the natural question is usually, “why should I consider purchasing a vehicle with a report of structural damage or repair? The reason is simple. Savings. Vehicles with reported structural damage are typically about 20-30% cheaper than a comparable vehicle with a “Clean Carfax”. That means that a vehicle that might typically sell for $20,000, could be priced at only $15,000. Not only would that $5000 save a customer about $100 per month based on a 5 year loan, but it also means a savvy used car buyer can purchase a newer vehicle with more remaining factory warranty.
Airbags are designed to deploy even in low speed collisions, depending on the location of the impact. When an airbag is deployed, it cannot be re-used. A new airbag assembly must be installed. This is typically performed by a licensed repair facility. If we do have a vehicle that has a known airbag deployment record, we will let you know in writing.
“Other Damage” usually means the prior owner reported damage to his insurance company, but there was no accident report filed. “Other Damage” may include minor dents or scratches, or it may have been an accident where no police report was made. Damage reported this way typically translates into lesser savings, simply because the report reads “No Accidents Reported”.
Most manufacturers offer a basic warranty for new vehicles. These warranties vary by manufacturer and typically last for a certain amount of time and/or a set number of miles. In cases where a customer is dissatisfied with a vehicle they have purchased, the manufacturer may offer or agree to reacquire the vehicle and give the customer a refund or a replacement vehicle. In many cases, the manufacturer is unable to verify the concern, but agrees to take the vehicle back in the interests of customer satisfaction. In other cases, a required part or software update may be unavailable. Buybacks always carry the balance of the factory warranty, and in some cases include an extended warranty on the repaired defect. A customer purchasing a buyback will typically save 20-25% or more when compared to a vehicle without buyback history. That means that a vehicle that might typically sell for $20,000, would likely be priced somewhere between $15,000 and $16,000. If you’re financing, it also translates into a lower monthly payment. Each thousand equates to a $20 savings, so a $5000 savings means a savings of about $100 per month.