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Discussion Starter #1
I ask because about 10 years ago I was starting to look for an S2000 and bought a 30 day unlimited membership from CarFax reports.

Just for grins I input the VIN's of 2 of my relative's cars that both been in accidents. Both accidents were more than a year previous at the time.
There was a police report and an insurance claim in both cases.
CarFax reported neither car had been in an accident.

Are things any better now ? Opinions ?

Thanx in advance..
Jeff
 

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I think your experience tells the story. While many accidents are reported on CarFax, you can never be certain that a car with a clean CarFax report is accident free. I run CarFax on all used purchases because it's cheap and I'd be stupid to miss something that is publicly disclosed, but if you want to have comfort on the accident history you need to get a good PPI. I also tend to put reps in the purchase agreement, but that's mostly useless you later find out the rep was untruthfully made and you feel like suing your seller.
 

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I would trust politicians before I trust a Carfax report. I had 3 accidents (2 body shops) in one of my trucks. Carfax came back clean.

My wife's Mini was rear-ended. A year later when I sold it, the Carfax came back clean.

Another one of my trucks got rear-ended pretty bad. Guess what? Carfax came back clean when I traded it in.
 

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A1 Automotive & Smog
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Carfax has been working with many 3rd party software from many dealers, body shops, autorepair shop, etc. so the data has been better. Even maintenance records, recall records, etc has been recorded. But of course there's always flaws, so just be careful.
 

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I bought a Lexus GX based on a Carfax. 9 months after I purchased it they reported that it had been run into a tree head on. They were nice enough to footnote that they got the info late...

I suspect the dealer who fixed it didn’t report it and then sold it at auction. I then bought it and took the hit at trade-in a few years later when I was getting another car...
 

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What is worse is that there have been reports of Carfax saying someone's car was damage from an accident when it wasn't even in one. The owner then has to jump through hoops to show they had the wrong info to get it off the cars record.

Personally, I do not like that a dealer (or anyone else) can sell data on my car to Carfax. I own my cars outright, pay cash for services and have no contact with Carfax to allow this to happen. Unless of course its in the BS paperwork you have to sign when you go to the dealer for service. And, its so small that I've missed it (yes, I do read the crap they make you sign).

When I had my aftermarket GTE bumpers color matched at a body shop, I just brought them the bumpers to spray. I asked if they reported info to Carfax. They flip flopped on the answer. So, I refused to provide a VIN so it could not show up on a Carfax report as needing paint work because the assumption will be that it was in an accident. The car is mint with no prior damage of ANY kind.

Obviously if I ever sell my car, the new owner will know about the paint work since it has aftermarket bumpers. But, during our conversation, I can show them the mint OEM bumpers I took off to prove there was no prior damage. That should be up to me, not a third party collecting vehicle info for profit.

Its funny that in most states, a new car that has been damaged prior to delivery does not have to be reported to the consumer (at least under a certain $ threshold). So, the dealer doesn't self report to Carfax. But they report on you.

I do agree though, that a buyer should always have a PPI (including for paint work) performed on any used vehicle they purchase.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Good info, all.
looking for my first Lotus and am nervous about Lotus-specific issues such as how easily damaged the chassis and clams can be, so a PPI at a Lotus-savy shop is vital since Carfax is iffy. Problem is, there are several Lotus cars for sale in small town areas where the nearest shop that is familiar with Lotus is likely a long way off. I'm not sure how to handle that.

Jeff
 
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