Autocheck Carfax Question

Hi there. Looking to buy an 1987 900T. (Yes, I know the problems with Saab and I’m still crazy enough to maybe buy it!).

Just checked Carfax and there’s no record of this car. Autocheck had two registrations from RI in the 1998 and 1999, but no mileage listed.

The current owner is a dealer and said he had used dealer plates for it, so never bothered to register it. He bought it from the prior owner around 5 years ago.

Sounds legit to me, but I wantd to see if anybody had any differing opinions. Also, is there a different avenue I might be able to use to check out the VIN?

I am already having a mechanic do a prepurchase inspection to check it out.

Thanks for your help.

It’s entirely plausible. The only time something will show up on the CarFax report is when it’s registered or serviced at a shop that reports mileages to CarFax. Most older cars will only have a few notes on their reports and if the previous owner was a dealer, he wasn’t registering it regularly and he probably was using his own in-house mechanics or smaller independent mechanics who typically don’t report to CarFax.

The overall usefulness of a CarFax report is sometimes overstated. It’s really only good for detecting deliberate fraud such as salvage titles that have been “cleaned” by re-registering them in states with different rules or odometer rollbacks. For this car, any serious problems should turn up in your mechanic’s inspection (you are getting this checked out by an independent mechanic, preferably a Saab specialist, right?) and really the value of this 21-year old Saab should be so low that there’s not really the motive there for the types of fraud that would turn up on a CarFax report.

My truck is another one of those with little trackable history, so I can easily believe this car could be the same. Carfax is reletively new and as GreasyJack said Carfax only has info that is reported to them by members. Just have your local tech check it over and you should be good to go.

Make sure that the wear on the pedals, seats, carpets, and steering wheel seem rigth for the odometer reading. I know this is difficult for a 21 year old car, but if everything looks new but the mileage is 100,000 you need to ask lots of questions.