If you’ve been searching through the worldwide web to find a free vehicle history report on a used car, one that gives you access to DMV records, number of previous owners, frame or weather damage, accidents or an odometer check, you’re simply not going to find it.
Although many sites tout a free report, when it comes down to it that’s simply not the case. What is always free when you enter your Vehicle Identification Number is limited information, which includes the year, make, model, and possibly the partial history if you’re lucky. For most detailed reports, you’re going to have to pay.
Here are three of the most renowned vehicle history report companies serving the worldwide web and their offerings:
One of the most well known names in vehicle history reports, Carfax has a documents database with over 10 billion records gathered from over 34,000 sources including every major American and Canadian DMV agency. Their reports are highly detailed and include title information, flood damage history, accident report, service records (whether it was used as a taxi, fleet, or rental vehicle), and more for any vehicle built after 1981.
Many people ask about how to get a free vehicle history report from Carfax, but again, you simply can’t. In order to access their database and reveal all of this information, interested users must pay a fee.
There are currently three tiers for different uses: a one-time report will cost you $39.99 (You can check one car); for $49.99 you can check up to five different vehicles. The third $54.99 package offers unlimited reports by U.S. license plate and is geared towards businesses buying and selling used vehicles.
AutoCheck has partnered with various online used vehicle sellers like eBay Motors and Edmunds to help their users determine if a car is worth the asking price. These businesses use AutoCheck because it generates one of the most comprehensible and meticulous reports available for a cheaper price than their closest competitors. It also has a free mobile app that sends any purchased information directly to your phone when you’re window shopping.
There are currently three options available for vehicle history reports: a $24.99 single report, 25 reports for $49.99 and a $99.99 unlimited report option that gives you unfiltered access to their database for 21 days. It’s easy to understand why some dealers love picking the third option for their business as well as used car shoppers looking at many choices.
AutoCheck also offers an easy-to-read score system, which provides a lot of information at a glance such as the impact of the used vehicle on current sale prices, the expected future value, and value compared to similar used vehicles in the area. For those interested in auction-style purchases in America, AutoCheck also provides detailed alerts to your smartphone for upcoming sales.
CarProof is arguably the brand name in vehicle history reports for Canada with four different tiers and a quick report option for Canadian shoppers. Prices range from $9.95 for the quick report detailing the vehicle’s accident history to a complete one with data from British Columbia’s public insurance companies for $69.95.
For the four complete tiers, CarProof also has access to American databases and information so shoppers do not have to be limited to Canadian vehicles. Any VIN going over the border on either side will probably have information recorded in CarProof’s database. If you’re a Canadian resident or looking to purchase a used vehicle from a Canadian dealer, CarProof should be your first choice for up-to-date information. However, they do lack a smartphone app for shoppers at dealerships and they currently do not have an unlimited VIN checking option.
What’s The Best Option?
If you’re still asking, Where can I get a free vehicle history report, you’ve clearly missed the benefits of a paid report. A paid report gives you additional information to help you make an informed decision about a used vehicle. While it’s entirely possible to purchase a vehicle without looking into it history, chances are you’re going to discover problems that could have easily been identified through a simple VIN check.
There really isn’t an excuse to save a few dollars now only to have to pay for repairs later when your lemon car starts acting like a lemon. If you’re still concerned about the paying for a report, Carfax, AutoCheck, and CarProof offer money back guarantees or buyback programs for any vehicle you checked out with their services. A paid report is simply smart thinking.
Between Carfax and AutoCheck we believe AutoCheck is the better option. This is based on price, comprehensiveness as well as feedback from thousands of used car buyers. If you’re ready to check out a few cars just enter the VIN in either box on this page.