In 1986, CARFAX started with the desire to be the authoritative source of information regarding the history of used cars for buyers and sellers. Years later, CARFAX has achieved its vision in North America, with the most comprehensive history report database available for cars and light trucks.
Millions of consumers visit CARFAX every year to research whether they are in the process of selling or buying a car. A history report can include information like:
Over 100,000 data sources, including motor vehicle agencies, police and fire departments, auctions, car rental agencies, and collision repair shops send CARFAX information about used vehicles.
Keep reading for pros and cons, plus CARFAX reviews from real users.
Vehicle history reports can be obtained on used cars and trucks from 1981 or later, using the VIN number located on the vehicle in question. The VIN (vehicle identification number) is a 17-digit number is typically found on the side of the driver's door below the steering wheel.
CARFAX Lemon Check Reports help used car buyers to make smart financial decisions and avoid buying a branded or salvaged titled vehicle for a bad price.
CARFAX vehicle report fees range from one report for $39.99 to $99.99 for six reports.
A unique CARFAX guarantee helps used car buyers with peace of mind when it comes to shopping for a pre-owned vehicle.
If you get a CARFAX vehicle report that doesn’t have a branded title reported, then purchase a car which turns out to have a branded title issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles, then CARFAX may buy back the car for the full purchase price. This is a great way to add value and trust to their service.
CARFAX offers a free history-based valuation with your zip code and VIN or license plate number. This valuation takes into account info from the car’s history without making you pay for the full report. While services like Kelley Blue Book take into account the make, model, year, and special features, CARFAX takes into account things like previous use, number of owners, accident history, registration history, and open recalls.
You can search for your next car on CarFax.com, which includes thousands of used and certified pre-owned car listings from local dealerships. Each listing includes a free CARFAX report, so consumers can search and filter results by a number of factors, including details from the vehicle’s history report. You can choose to find a car that has only had one owner or one with no previous accidents.
Search cars with service records or lease only. Narrow down the results until you get the exact car that fits your needs. Searches are done by your local area with an up to 500-mile radius.
You can also use the myCARFAX app on your mobile device to keep track of when you need to have maintenance performed on your car. Use your car's VIN number on the app and pull up service records, schedules for maintenance, and information on recalls.
CARFAX will even alert you when your car is due to be serviced and help you find a mechanic nearby with suggestions and consumer reviews of each repair shop.
While there are lots of free tools for car shoppers to use at carfax.com, vehicle history reports are not free.
How much do CARFAX reports cost?
While you can save money when you purchase multiple reports, unlimited reports are only available for partner dealerships, not for private users.
Used cars listed for sale with CARFAX all include a free vehicle history report. Additionally, many car dealers and car finder sites provide free reports to car shoppers, including:
However, many car finders and dealerships offer a free vehicle history report with their shopping service, including the following:
The majority of these complaints appear to be with advertising and sales issues and problems with CARFAX's products and services.
CarFax was phenomenal in helping me find and buy a car. Although I did not use it in the car I actually bought (I bought a new car), it helped me sort through all the options. There was once where carfax saved me from buying a bad car by allowing me to look at the history of the car and see it was not worth the price it was being sold for.
Car fax was awesome in helping me find a car. The detailed report is necessary for any buyer interested in buying a used car. It allowed me to not make a mistake in my car choice.
Natalia Correa MDTribe
Carfax was really helpful in knowing all the details for the vehicles and making sure I was getting a good price! Highly recommend them because they are very reliable.
Carfax assisted me in finding my first car in college by providing all the details I should know. It was quick and efficient
Carfax is easier than even saying Carfax at the dealership trust me when I say this is the best way to find out what has happened to your car is history use this and you won’t regret it.
When I bought my car I didn’t know the specifics so I looked here and I was able to find everything including the accident reports!
Shows me all the past histories of old cars and helps compare prices of cars to others in the area. Perfect for helping you find the best deal and quality car.
Carfax gives me so much peace of mind when buying a vehicle. I appreciate knowing the history of the vehicle and feel reassured having the information it provides! Would never buy a car without checking Carfax first!
It’s a great place to search for everything you’re looking for in a car. It has accurate information on all the vehicles in your area.
I tried using CarFax to find a new car and it was the hardest service out of all the ones I used. It took forever for me to figure out how to use it because there was no customer service to be found.
Carfax has been an all out best car finder app. They helped me find my current car and it is everything I wanted! Their customer service helped me when I was struggling with finding the right car and the pricing was awesome.
I went to them while I was looking to purchase my current care! The staff was super nice, and they helped me decide on a perfect car at a good cost! Car buyers should look here!
Every time that I shop for car, I like to use this side because it is very reliable
This company is very helpful in helping me find a very affordable used or new car. The staff was very friendly and accommodating to my specific wants of a car.
This is what I used to buy my used car. I was able to accurately find that my car was only in one accident and that nothing was wrong with the car.
CarFax is such a reliable online website when looking into buying a car. They have up to date info on the latest cars for sale.
whenever I am buying a car from craigslist I make sure that I use carfax because they always have updated info on cars history
Maryann Renteria (Mckrae)
I’ve used these guys to see if a used car has been in a crash! They are reputable and trustworthy!
My husband and I purchase gently-used cars every 2-3 years and we ALWAYS run a CarFax before purchasing. We have found them to be extremely helpful and reliable. There have been quite a few times we were glad we had the CarFax report because that car had been in an accident and we were not made aware of it by the seller. Also, I might add that one of the vehicles we were looking at a few years back didn't end up having a report available. CarFax was very quick to respond and refund us the money we spent for that report.
I like the peace of mind that CarFax offers. While it doesn’t tell you every bit of automotive history behind an automobile, it does offer some insight to the car’s history. When searching for a used car, this insight helps to eliminate the buyers remorse that often comes when buying a used car. I always make sure to get a CarFax when I purchase a used vehicle. Car Fax’s car search functions are average, but the peace of mind it offers is what sets it apart.
I used Carfax when I was shopping for a used car. It was very helpful to me to see information about the cars history beyond what the dealer told me. This extra information gave me confidence that the used car I picked had a clean history with no accidents. The report clearly showed in chronological order all of the past owners maintenance of the car. I was pleased with the CarFax service and would absolutely use it again
We really try and get a CarFax report every time we purchase a vehicle. The report shows the maintenance history of a vehicle (if the work was done at a dealership) and it gives a list of any accidents with a description of the damage. It is really helpful information when evaluating the overall quality of a used vehicle.
When we were shopping for our next car we used CarFax to help us verify that the cars we were looking at were good, clean cars with no accident history or major mechanical issues. They have a great platform that is easy to use and their customer service was great to deal with. Though we ended up buying a vehicle through a dealership, we would use CarFax again.
Car fax helped us with the most recent purchase of our car. The Car Fac report help to assure us that our car was a good and safe purchase.
We have had to use this a few times while buying and selling our cars. It's nice to have the information available.
When I look at buying a used vehicle, I always ask for the carfax. It is a trusted source to know the history of the vehiclex
I used this it’s when looking for a mustang but the website made it hard to find exactly what I want and every car was very expensive.
Has the largest variety of cars. If you don't want to break the bank, this is where you want to look.
Such a handy tool to use to make sure our car was legit when we purchased out of state vehicle.
Carfax is the best thing you can use when researching a used car. They have several different payment options that work with anyone's budget. With our last carfax report I found issues that the seller was not disclosing. It gives you a complete vehicle history report. Won't buy another used car without getting a carfax report first.
Used CarFax to purchase my latest car. Seeing the in depth reporting helped me make the most difficult decision of purchasing a vehicle that wasn't gonna be a lemon with hidden problems.
Don’t get a car without one. Honest and reliable. We were able to easily access information and make informed decisions. Protection from lying salespeople
We use Car Fax for all of your vehicles. It helps us make sure that we are getting a good vehicle and that there are no major issues with the vehicle.
Rommie Bishop III
Carfax was great in helping me gain a understanding of what how much I should pay for the Subaru Outback I was looking for in 2019. Paired with Kelley Bluebook, I was pretty confident in the pricing I should expect and was able to find a great deal. They aren't totally comprehensive in their maintenance logs, but that's expected when the owner does self-maintenance or similar things.
We got a great car assuming the carfax was accurate. No problems with it so we are gaining trust with these reports. So far so good!
When we were looking for a used truck for our daughter this came in very handy to tell us everything we need to know about the vehicle.
Love using carfax before a potential car purchase. It’s nice to feel informed and they do a great job covering all their bases
I always check CarFax before making a purchase to make sure I know all about a car I am going to buy. It gives me peace of mind going into the purchase.
Nothing but great things to say about CarFax. It is an invaluable tool about car histories that help you avoid car buying pitfalls. Their information is critically helpful, comprehensive and easy to use and read. It would be foolish to buy a car without CarFax as a tool to safeguard yourself. Smartest thing I ever did.
We were happy with the peace of mind having a carfax report provided us when we were recently purchasing our most recent car.
CarFax works great. They have so many options to choose from and the cars are really good prices.
I feel like Carfax and all of these companies that are supposed to give you a report on your car or a waste of money I have a car repaired after an accident and found out that the person had taken it to a junkyard and fix it themselves which is something the report will never tell you so you’re always taking a chance
By using Carfax was able to weigh the risk of the car I was thinking about buying. Helped me make an informed decision.
I used CarFax when I am looking for cars near to where I live. They are a trustworthy company and have up to date listings of cars being on sale in multiple locations.
Love car fax use it at work all the time. Very helpful site when making sure cars don’t have any major issues
I really loved the information provided and its helped with buying and selling our cars
I personally haven’t use them a ton but I feel it’s a necessity to use them whenever buying a used car. They provided the best information!
I love checking CarFax before buying a car. It gives me important information I need to make an informed decision.
I enjoyed getting background on the cars I’m looking at. I’m grateful to Carfax for providing this service.
Carfax is a great idea but unfortunately is very unreliable as many agencies don't report damage to Carfax.