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★★★☆☆

“Carfax is not necessarily accurate”

Written on: 25/06/2013 by jessicah720 (1 review written)

When buying a used car, I suggest not only pulling a Carfax but also getting a pre-purchase inspection. Those two measures should hopefully guarantee good, safe and reliable purchase. I bought a used car off Craigslist about a month ago, a 2005 Honda Civic that had a clean Carfax, supposedly 1 previous owner, no accidents, and clean title. Turns out, that car had been in a major accident that was not reported to insurance and the airbags in the car had deployed and not been replaced. Replacement of the airbags by a reputable shop/dealership would have basically cost more than what the car was worth, plus the repairs on the car from the accident had not been done very well (mechanic said stuff in the engine bay area looked a bit crammed back in, plus there was some frame damage that was not repaired). All this would have been revealed if I had a pre-purchase inspection done, but as the body work on the exterior of car was fixed well so that it looked good on the outside and it had a clean Carfax, I went ahead and bought the car. Bad mistake. It also turns out that the person I bought the car from was the 2nd owner, (the 1st owner got in the bad accident, did a minimal repair job, then sold it) and I ended up selling it to someone else taking a huge loss because I didn't want to sell it to someone without letting them know that the airbags were missing. So now, technically that car is on its 4th owner, and Carfax still thinks it is a one owner car.
MORAL OF THE STORY: Carfax is good for verifying that a car has a clean title, if not a bit expensive, but buyers BEWARE. Carfax is not EVERYTHING. Carfax only has access to what is reported. So to be completely safe when buying a used vehicle, please please take it in to a reputable shop for a pre-purchase inspection in addition to running a Carfax in order to have peace of mind about your purchase.