You wouldn’t hire an employee without a background check. The same principle applies to buying a used car. We are talking about a major financial risk. There are so many details to check – some are obvious; and some aren’t. There is help if you use a vehicle history provider. So let’s compare the top providers: Carfax, the original; and AutoCheck, the main competitor.

ACCIDENT HISTORY

Information Quality. You want to know what traumas the car has suffered. Both CarFax and AutoCheck provide accident history. Of course, both can miss unreported minor accidents or those not claimed on insurance. AutoCheck edges out, because it has exclusive connections with two of the largest auction services. Their information is comprehensive, and it does cover frame damage, the critical issue.

Cost. Carfax’s single report is $34.99 with package price at 5 reports for $44.99. AutoCheck offers a single report for $29.99, or, for $44.99, unlimited reports for 30 days.

Value. Both on critical information and price, AutoCheck delivers and the 30 day unlimited report package is a bargain.

MAINTENANCE HISTORY

Knowing the maintenance history of a potential pre-owned vehicle is helpful. You see if the car was given the recommended maintenance at standard mileage points (oil changes, tune-ups, diagnostics, etc.).

Information Quality. If the previous owner did his or her own repairs, neither company will have information. No maintenance history is provided by Autocheck. When owners took cars for dealer or auto repair store routine maintenance, Carfax does report.

Value. For those cars that had regular dealer or repair shop maintenance, Carfax provides reports.

BUYBACK PROTECTION

A car’s “buyback price” means the sale value of the used car at the time of sale, according to the National Automobile Dealer Association (NADAguides.com) valuation.

Program Quality. AutoCheck’s buyback program is 110% of the NADAguides.com published retail price and up to $500 in accessories added after purchase. Carfax’s buyback value is the “maximum of the purchase price of the vehicle excluding warranties, insurance and other additional purchases” with nothing for aftermarket accessories.

Cost. None.

Value. Buyback plans may require complex processes and time from both providers. But overall, AutoCheck provides broader scope to your return on the car’s value.

TO REVIEW

AutoCheck is part of Experian, formed in 1996 when two well-known credit checking companies merged. Carfax has been around since the 1980s with 25+ years of multi-media ad campaigns.

Both services are reliable and helpful when buying a used car. Carxax has a well-known brand and maintenance data that provides better owner history. AutoCheck offers the better price, both for single and multiple reports. It found a creative way to provide better accident history data.

When it comes to Autocheck vs Carfax, now that you know what each offers, you can make an informed choice.

Ready to check a car with our top pick? Just follow the link for an AutoCheck Vehicle History Report or just enter your VIN on this page.

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