Apr
02
2013

The Truth About Vehicle History Reports

Posted on Apr 02 2013 by

The used car buying process can be as challenging for dealers as it is for consumers. Both parties want to make sure they are getting the best deal on a car that is safe and reliable. But how does anyone really know what they are getting?

Across the Internet there are many resources available to help in this process including tips from trusted sites like Edmunds.com, KBB.com and NADAGuides.com. The one common thread among them is that they all tell you to get a vehicle history report as part of the research. And that is good advice.

Here at Experian, we offer a vehicle history report called AutoCheck. AutoCheck reports contain information on odometer issues, title brands, frame-damage announcements and other important data points. In addition, where available, the reports contain information on accidents (including airbag deployment, point of impact and whether the vehicle was towed).

The reports also include the patented AutoCheck Score, a tool that enables dealers and consumers to quickly and easily understand a vehicle’s past and compare it to other vehicles.

The important piece to understand about all vehicle history reports is that no single source of information can be fully comprehensive, since not every accident or other auto-related incident is reported.

However, at Experian, we are constantly working to enhance and expand our information sources to provide as much detail as possible. For example, our reports contain exclusive auction announcement information from the two largest U.S. Auction houses that may not appear in other reports.

These auction announcements show if the vehicle has any potential issues that dealers and consumers should watch out for including frame damage, major repairs, or if the airbags are missing or defective.

Additionally, two of our largest private sources of accident data are exclusive to Experian. These sources provide enhanced accident information that allow AutoCheck users to see additional reported accidents and accident details, even in states where state agencies do not collect or choose to share the information.

The truth is, all of this information provides dealers and consumers with a unique view into a vehicle’s past, but it will not eliminate all risk from the used car shopping process.

It has long been our philosophy that vehicle history reports should only be one step in the pre-owned vehicle purchasing process. In addition to purchasing an AutoCheck report, we encourage every pre-owned shopper to physically inspect the vehicle whenever possible, and to have a licensed mechanic inspect the vehicle to ensure the best and safest vehicle choice is made.

During the shopping process dealers and consumers should also consider:

1. Using online resources such as valuation guides and online sales portals (which can obviously help in showing buyers if there is damage to a vehicle) to get a better idea of the vehicle’s value.

2. Visiting the manufacturer’s website to double check for any safety or recall notices that have been issued on the vehicle.

To learn more about AutoCheck vehicle history reports, visit www.AutoCheck.com.

Photo: Shutterstock


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