Below I have pasted an article I wrote back in 2012. I hope you read through it & read my additional thoughts at the end. 🙂
But first, see the graphic? I see these all the time, and it REALLY should be noted that the carfax is NOT free! Let’s kick off with that.
Here’s the 2012 blog:
Those of you who know me know that I approach working in the automotive industry from the perspective of the consumer. I guess being who I am, and being a social media person, it’s expected that I would have that approach. In case you don’t know, I’m a no BSer and I’m nothing if not transparent. I’m pretty much the epitome of “what you see is what you get”. I wanted to preface with that statement about me because I’m going to tackle a misconception about the auto industry. Car salesman & auto dealers have such a bum rap. I gotta say, at least the people I work with, they are good people, honest people who have no desire to “get over” on anyone. That’s why I was so taken a back while reading a blog this week; I was inspired to write one of my own. The blog I speak of is here. This blog was about CarFax. Everyone has heard of CarFax; we all know the line, “show me the CarFax!”
Here’s my personal knowledge of CarFax. I know I thought it necessary to have a CarFax when I purchased my first “on my own” vehicle, my Buick Rendezvous (which I loved!). Then I started working here at Harry Robinson and met with someone who represented CarFax. That person was trying to sale Harry Robinson Buick GMC a bigger “package” than we currently subscribe to, we pay per CarFax, and they wanted us to pay a lump sum for unlimited. This, by the way, is a shocking dollar amount. My second thought, after “wow, that’s a lot of money”, was “well, we gotta do that, I mean everyone knows you gotta show me the carfax!”. I met with our General Sales Manager about it, and he wasn’t so keen on spending that much money per month and told me that Arkansas isn’t a carfax reporting state. “WHAT?! First time I’ve heard this!” They have the inability to check accident records in 23 states in the U.S!, who knew? I never heard that on the commercial! What this means is that even if you get a report it’s not likely to be accurate. This is a total bummer! So, anyway, I’m reading the blog I mentioned before and click this link. It is to the consumer affairs site. I am reading the reviews, and I see this:
“I was given a false Carfax report at my time of purchase so that the dealership could make the sale to me.”
That made me so sad. First of all, that dealerships have such a reputation that this could be so easily believed. Second of all, it’s just totally false. I know this guy has no way of knowing this; I may think the same thing if I didn’t know better. The myth to be dispelled here is that the dealership has any knowledge or effect on the outcome of the carfax. The bottom line here is that dealerships have no control over what the report says. Whether it’s information on the report or information which is left off of the report, dealerships have absolutely no say what so ever on a carfax report. I just wanted to put in my 2 cents. I know there are a lot of questions about dealerships, and I get it, I had them too. Everyone who knows me knows I wouldn’t be involved anywhere where there are shenanigans going on! If you have any questions about this industry, automobile shopping, or anything to do with the automotive industry you can ask anytime. I have 2 guarantees! 1. I won’t know all the answers. 2. I’ll do my best to find out.
an employee (speaking for herself). 🙂
and back to 2016….
Ok. Really, the power of advertising is so strong!
Carfax=trusted by consumers.
Car dealers=Not trusted by consumers.
Carfax=sells the public the notion that car dealers are out to get the people.
Public=totally buys into it. 😦
Reality=reputable car dealer serve their customers above and beyond because they want to keep happy customers for life, and to be valued and respected in their communities.
Reality=The carfax only discloses what’s reported to carfax. The stat stated in my old article about the number of “carfax reporting states” may or may not be true now, as I didn’t do new research on that statistic. I do know that no one is required to report to carfax. Some insurance companies sell their info to carfax, some don’t. Mileage, etc. is reported via public record. Dealers see the same carfax you do.
I’ll repeat it for good measure, dealers see the same carfax you do. We don’t have the ability to hide anything on the carfax. We wouldn’t want to hide anything if we could! Seriously, why would anyone do that to someone else?! Really.
I’m not saying carfax is worthless, it’s not FREE as they advertise (dealers pay for every carfax; and they ain’t cheap either), I’m saying carfax isn’t the end all. If you need more info look into these other checks as well: AutoCheck, VinSmart , VinAudit, there are others, I’m not endorsing these checks, I’m just saying they exist. 🙂
Carfax is a good gauge, and with any gauge you always have to remember sometimes they fail. Gauges are instruments for measuring, and sometimes they are right on, sometimes they’re a little off, and sometimes you run out of gas while your gauge says your half full. 🙂
We pull carfaxes everyday. We pay for every carfax, but we want you to be informed as possible, so we pull carfaxes everyday for free for anyone who has a VIN # and asks. All you have to do is request one via email to martyp at harryrobinson.com or cathyn at harryrobinson.com and we will pull it and email it to you asap. You can also click “Request a CarFax” on any vehicle information page on our website. We also report maintenance done here to carfax, because having these records seems to add some value.
Here’s a handy article entitled “How Do I Read a VIN (and what does it mean)?” *great title* I love it when someone can present something people are completely confuzzeled by and make it seem so simple. This article also has a graphic to show you where to find your VIN number.
I’ll leave you with this:
“CARFAX does not have the complete history of every vehicle.
A CARFAX Vehicle History Report is based only on information supplied to CARFAX.”
via CarFax website.
Thanks for hearing me out!