What to do when the dealer does not provide a car fax report?

Just curious because I am looking online and I know not everyone gets car fax reports. Their was a discussion not long back about it, not sure what all the conditions were. I just want to know if that is a bad sign, that is if the dealer notes he/she does not provide car fax reports on their vehicles?

Also, how reliable in comparing prices are Kelly blue book values?

Carfax reports are not perfect. They only contain information that was reported to Carfax, and lots of things you need to know may be missing.

You should have a car inspected by an independent mechanic before you purchase it, even if the vehicle you’re looking at has a Carfax report.

I’d be wary of a used car dealer who won’t spend the few dollars necessary to get a Carfax report. If you really want one you can get one yourself. All you need is the VIN. Maybe you’ll find out why the dealer won’t get one.

Kelly Blue Book, and all other “book” values are ESTIMATES, and should be considered “ball park” at best. These values are based on averages of a huge number of vehicle sales, and may not reflect the value of an individual vehicle. Every vehicle has its own value, and that is whatever someone is willing to pay for it.

Kelly Blue Book, NADA, and Edmonds all give reasonable pricing info, they do differ and it is a good idea to cross check them.

CarFax reports are a good tool but are not perfect. Lot’s of maintenance info may not be entered on a particular car. Yet, the more you know about a car the better so the reports are worthwhile. CarFax makes money and charges for their reports. Some dealers choose to spend the money and others don’t. It is a business decision and doesn’t reflect on the quality of the dealer one way or the other.

You can subscribe to CarFax yourself online. Then all you need is the VIN # of the car(s) you are interested in and you can obtain reports. CarFax is not the only game in town, there are competetive services that are just as good, perhaps even better. CarFax is just the best known brand for these reports.

Also watch out for fake ‘car fax’ reports that dealers supply. I don’t mean counterfits, I mean something that looks like it, but has some other name, ‘auto fax’, or something like that. I ran into that when looking at a used car, I ended up spending the money to get a car fax on my own.

It’s probably because CarFax has a tidy little scam where they charge used car dealers to be able to say a car is “CarFax Certified” which implies some sort of guarantee, but in reality it only guarantees the information contained in the CarFax report, which is usually pretty sparse and vague enough that I seriously doubt anyone ever collects on it.

If I were a car dealer, I probably wouldn’t provide CarFax reports either. If you think they’re important, just get one yourself. It’d be a different situation if the dealer is withholding what the VIN number is to prevent you from doing it, but that doesn’t sound like what’s happening.

Carfax data is only as good as what is entered. Where do you think they get the repair data on each car from??? That data has to be submitted to them by mechanics. If it’s NOT…then it doesn’t show up. I know several mechanics who do NOT submit any data to carfax…so every single repair they do will NEVER EVER show up on a carfax report.

No dealer is required to provide a CarFax and I totally agree with what has been stated about CarFax’s omissions and inaccuracy.

In the past, I have mentioned running a CarFax on several of my cars just to see what’s up with CF.
My now departed Subaru (declared a total in a wreck and repaired by me) was on a Salvage Title for 7 years and CF showed it as having a “clean” title.
One of my SAABs (also now gone) was shown by CF to be a “current theft”. That was news to me since it was parked in my driveway and the history was traceable at the DMV.
A CF report on my youngest son’s old school car (Camaro) showed that it had been declared a total. This was not true. An insurance claim had been submitted by the original owner for a broken T-top and stereo theft. Very minor problems is all.

In a nutshell CF sucks in my opinion. If you can’t trust it 100% then why trust it at all? CF is nothing more than a dealer sales enticement device; right up there with banners, flags, obnoxious TV commercials, and whatnot.

Whoa, sorry… jusk asking, thats all. Thanx for the responses though:-)
Ya know- I went to Burnsville Toyota, this was a while back when I was still with my ex, anyway, ya I’m NEVER going to a dealer, independent car saleman, used car salesman, whatever, etc. by myself. Dude freaked me out. My ex had literaaly JUST parked the car and dude was outside the window asking him about fog or something along those lines about the dang weather. We eventually left cause the car I had “found” online apparently was getting a catalytic converter put in (i.e. had been sold) and I just felt like fresh meat in a bear den.
It’s their job, I know, but no way will I ever go alone. Ya, that had nothing really to do with car fax but just came to mind, so, there ya go.

It’s simple. If a dealer won’t provide you a carfax report and you consider it important, go to a dealer who will give you what you want.

While a carfax report can’t be trusted to catch anything that might be wrong with the car, it is a good place to start. That way it can tell you which cars to stay away from. However, the absence of data should not be interpreted as a clean bill of health. For that you will need to get your perspective car purchase checked out by your independent mechanic.

It isn’t necessarily a bad sign that the dealer doesn’t provide carfax reports. It is a bad sign, however, that the dealer isn’t interested in giving you what you want before you make a purchase. This shows a lack of customer focus. He obviously isn’t interested enough in your business to log onto carfax.com and pay for a single report on the vehicle. So you would be foolish to go out of your way to give him your money. You would be reinforcing a lack of focus on customer service.

Ignore the the lack of the Carfax report.
Get any used vehicle thoroughly checked by a reputable independent mechanic before buying. Go by that report.

Carfax acts as if they’re getting the data from some national or state mandatory reporting database. There is no national reporting database. There are no state reporting databases. Important stuff is very often not on a Carfax report simply because it was never volunteered to them, and thing sreported to them do not mean the car is not a good deal.