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How to Read a CARFAX and Vehicle History Report: FAQs About Autocheck Reports

What is a Vehicle History Report?

A vehicle history report (VHR) is a document that provides information about an automobile’s reported history, such as the number of owners, any reported accidents, maintenance records, and title status.

The report can be obtained online or through a car dealership and will provide details such as where accident damage was located and odometer readings over time. It also provides information on any maintenance that was done through a dealership or mechanic that reports its work to these VHR companies like Carfax. Additionally, it may reveal if there have been any title changes for the vehicle in question.


What Information is Included in a Vehicle History Report?

1. Vehicle Identification Number (VIN): This is the unique code that identifies each vehicle.

The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is a unique 17-digit number that identifies a vehicle. It can be found on the driver’s side of the dashboard, near the windshield. The VIN can also be found on the title and registration documents for that vehicle.

Having access to a vehicle history report is important because it provides valuable information about a particular vehicle, such as its make, model year, previous owners, maintenance records and accident history. By knowing this information ahead of time, you can better evaluate if it is right for you or not. A VIN lookup allows you to quickly find out all this information before making an informed decision about whether or not to purchase a used car from an individual or dealer.

2. Title History: Status of previous titles and if they were salvaged, rebuilt, or damaged.

The status of previous titles section of a vehicle history report includes information such as whether the vehicle has been declared as salvage, junk, rebuilt, fire damaged, flood damaged, hail damaged or if it has a lemon title. It also includes information about mechanical odometer limits that have been exceeded and mileage discrepancies that may indicate fraud or inaccuracies in the title history report.

3. Insurance Claims: Details of any insurance claims made on the vehicle.

A vehicle history report for insurance claims will typically include details such as:

– A declaration of total loss

– Any structural damages

– Airbag deployment

– Odometer checks

– Any accidents and other damages

– Recalls from the manufacturer

– The original warranty information

– Ownership history, including past owners and their contact information if available.

4. Damage Details: Information on previous damage, repairs, and recalls.

The vehicle history report includes details about any structural damage, airbag deployment, odometer checks, accidents and other damages. It also includes information about recalls from the manufacturer and original warranty information. Additionally, it may include details about emissions inspections, registration renewals and other events such as where they occurred.

5. Vehicle Use: Information on how the vehicle has been used, such as for rental or taxi services.

A vehicle use report includes information on the history and usage of a vehicle, such as:

• Vehicle make and model: The make and model of the vehicle being reported on.

• Vehicle specifications: The specifications of the vehicle, such as year made, engine size and transmission type.

• Maintenance records: Records of any maintenance work that has been done on the vehicle over its lifetime. This includes when it was serviced, what repairs were done and how much they cost.

• Accident history: Any accidents that have occurred with this specific vehicle since its manufacture date, including who was involved in the accident and any associated damages or injuries sustained from it.

6. Manufacturers’ Defects: Information on any manufacturer defects on the vehicle.

A vehicle history report will list any manufacturer defects that have been reported by the owner or insurance company. These can include:

• Declaration of total loss: When a vehicle is declared a total loss due to serious structural damage or airbag deployment.

• Odometer check: To ensure that the correct mileage has been recorded for the make and model of the vehicle.

• Accidents and other damages: Information about any accidents, minor or major damages, and other incidents that have occurred with this particular car.

• Recalls from manufacturer: Any open or closed recalls from the manufacturer will be listed on your Carfax report so you can verify if they have been taken care of properly and request proof of fix if needed.

7. CARFAX Reports: The information included in CARFAX reports

A CARFAX report for a vehicle history includes several important areas of information, such as:

• Title information – This is considered the most reliable section because the data is on record with the Department of Motor Vehicles in the state in which it is registered.

• Maintenance records – Information about any maintenance performed on a vehicle, including when it was done and by whom.

• Accident history – Details about any accidents involving this particular vehicle, including when they occurred and if there were any injuries or damages incurred as a result.

• Odometer readings – Shows how many miles have been accumulated on this vehicle since its manufacture date or since it last had an odometer reading taken (if applicable).

8. Odometer Information: Details on the history of the vehicle’s mileage.

An odometer report typically includes the following information:

– The vehicle’s make, model and year of manufacture

– The current owner’s name and contact information

– Previous owners’ names and contact information if available

– The date the vehicle was purchased or acquired by the current owner

– How many owners the vehicle has had since its purchase date

– Length of ownership for each owner since its purchase date

– Where it was registered (state/country/province) since its purchase date


How to Read and Understand a CARFAX Vehicle History Report?

Step 1: Determine what type of vehicle you are looking for.

There are three types of vehicles that you may encounter when reading a CARFAX Vehicle History Report:

1. New Vehicles: These are vehicles that have never been previously owned or registered and are still under the manufacturer’s warranty.

2. Used Vehicles: These are vehicles that have previously been owned or registered and may or may not be under a current manufacturer’s warranty, depending on their age and mileage at the time of purchase.

3. Salvage Vehicles: These cars were involved in an accident that caused significant damage to the vehicle, but could still be repaired and resold as a used vehicle with some restrictions on its use (such as not being able to be used for commercial purposes).

Step 2: Read the CARFAX Vehicle History Report to learn about the vehicle’s history.

1. Go to and enter your payment information along with the vehicle’s VIN (Vehicle Identification Number).

2. The report will be displayed on screen, and it will contain a lot of useful information about the used car you’re thinking about buying, such as multiple owners, major accidents, recall information and airbag deployment history.

3. Use this information to make an informed decision on whether or not to purchase the used car in question.

4. If there are any inaccuracies in the report, CARFAX offers a guarantee that they will buy back your used car if it was purchased based on an erroneous report within one year after its issuance date if registered within 90 days of that date AND you can prove it had a branded title from state motor vehicle agencies who have branding info on file

Step 3: Compare the CARFAX Vehicle History Report with other sources of information, such as Internet searches and dealerships testimonials.

1. Search for a CARFAX Vehicle History Report online or request one from a dealership.

2. Review the report to check for any major issues, such as accidents or damage history, that may affect the safety and reliability of the vehicle you are considering buying.

3. Compare this information with other sources of information such as test drives and inspections at a dealership to gain more confidence in your decision about which used car to buy next.

Step 4: Make an informed decision about whether to purchase the vehicle

1. Review the vehicle history report: CARFAX provides detailed information about the vehicle’s past, including any accidents or incidents reported by previous owners and any repairs made to the vehicle.

2. Talk to the seller: After reviewing the report, you may have questions that only a private seller or dealer can answer; therefore it is important to speak with them on the phone about any issues that have come up in your review of their vehicle history report.

3. Test drive and get an inspection: It is still important to take a test drive of the car and bring it in for an independent evaluation by a mechanic before making your purchase decision; this will ensure that your prospective purchase is still in good working order after taking into account all available information from both sources mentioned above!

Step 5: Consider whether any of the vehicle’s safety features are important to you.

When reading a CARFAX Vehicle History Report, it is important to consider the safety features of the vehicle. These features include:

– Engine condition and performance

– Transmission condition and shifting issues

– Chassis and suspension components

– Braking system performance and wear & tear issues

– Electrical systems such as battery life, starter motor efficiency, etc.

– Ignition system health (noise when starting/turning)

Step 6: Understand the credit requirements for each of the 3 CARFAX and 6 CARFAX packages availabl

To use the CARFAX Vehicle History Report, you will need to meet the following credit requirements:

3 CARFAX package: $9.99 per report

6 CARFAX package: $19.99 per report

– The 3 CARFAX package includes a basic vehicle history report with limited information on accidents, title issues, and odometer readings.

– The 6 CARFAX package includes an extensive vehicle history report with detailed information on accidents, title issues and odometer readings. It also provides access to specific accident details such as date of incident, type of collision and more.

Step 7: Understand how long the credit history from the 3 CARFAX or 6 CARFAX is valid

The 3 CARFAX or 6 CARFAX report is a vehicle history report that provides information about the past owners and accidents of a vehicle.

The credit history from this report is valid for 4 years after the purchase of the package. After this period has expired, the report will no longer be available unless another purchase is made. The access to an active CARFAX is always valid for 30 days from the date of purchase regardless of when it was purchased or how long ago it was used previously.

Step 8: Make an informed decision about whether to purchase the vehicle with or without a used car inspection certificate

CARFAX Vehicle History Reports can help you make an informed decision about whether to purchase a vehicle by providing detailed information about the history of the vehicle, such as accident records, maintenance records, and odometer readings. This information can be used in conjunction with a test drive and inspection at a dealership to determine whether the used car is in good condition or needs repairs before purchase.

Step 9: Familiarize yourself with the 450-point used car inspection guidelines

The 450-point used car inspection is an exhaustive inspection of a vehicle which includes evaluating the engine, mechanical and electrical systems, body and chassis and undercarriage. It also includes testing the vehicle for hidden problems, fraud and water damage.

CARFAX Vehicle History Reports provide valuable information about a used car such as accident history, mileage discrepancies and odometer readings that may not be obvious from just looking at the vehicle itself. By combining this report with a test drive and inspection at a dealership, you can have more confidence in your decision regarding which used car to buy.

Step 10: Take advantage of customer service strategies offered by the dealership

When reading a CARFAX Vehicle History Report, customers should take advantage of the following customer service strategies:

1. Log in to your account and enter the vehicle identification number in the search field to view upfront dealer pricing information and save thousands off MSRP.

2. Review the report for any reported accidents, incidents or issues that may affect the overall condition of the vehicle you’re interested in purchasing.

3. Contact CARFAX with any questions or concerns about your report or about finding a used car that meets your needs and fits within your budget constraints.