How Does Carfax Get its Information | Here’s the most Transparent answer

How Does Carfax Get its Information

Buying a car is a big deal for most car buyers but with the right information, they can make the right choices and avoid damaged vehicles. Most consumers turn to Carfax as their primary source of information, but how does Carfax get its information? Find out now!


CARFAX, headquartered in the United States, is a very popular and reliable provider of comprehensive vehicle information services using the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) meeting the needs of both individual consumers and businesses alike. 

With the Vehicle History Reports, Carfax has over the years provided records and historical information to car buyers interested in used cars. With these reports, car buyers, sellers, and dealers can have a glimpse into the life of a vehicle and verify its condition and overall reliability.

The CARFAX Vehicle History Report: What It Includes

The information found on a report includes the following:

  • Damage or Accidents: They check for any damage or accidents reported to the vehicle and this information is provided on a vehicle history report.
  • Maintenance and Inspections: Check if a vehicle’s history includes records of regular maintenance like oil changes, inspections, and repairs.
  • Mileage rollbacks: CARFAX also provides accurate odometer readings and verifies the accuracy of mileage readings.
  • Import Information: If the car was imported from another country, the relevant details would be provided.
  • Thefts: They cover stolen records and spot vehicles with red flags
  • Change of Ownership: Records changes in ownership over time.
  • Taxi or Rental Car Use: Indicates if the car was previously used as a taxi or rental vehicle.
  • Open Recalls: Alerts buyers about any open recalls issued by the manufacturer.

The list doesn’t end here. This leaves users wondering where Carfax gets all of its information. The next section explains it all.

How Does Carfax Collect Information?

With over 139,000 different sources, Carfax receives information on U.S. and Canadian vehicles and stores it in their vehicle history databases. Here are some methods they employ in collecting vehicle data:

Data Sources

CARFAX gathers information from a wide range of sources, including government agencies, insurance companies, auto auctions, and more. With these sources, they can access a wide range of data points and history records.

Here are some more data sources that they get their information from:

  • U.S. motor vehicle agencies
  • Canadian Provincial Motor Vehicle agencies
  • Auto auctions
  • Collision repair facilities
  • Service/ maintenance facilities
  • Insurance companies
  • Salvage auctions
  • Automotive recyclers
  • Body shops
  • Rental/fleet vehicle companies
  • State inspection stations
  • Extended warranty companies
  • Fire departments
  • Manufacturers
  • Law enforcement agencies
  • Car dealerships
  • Import/export companies


CARFAX also collaborates with numerous partners across the automotive industry to obtain data. These partnerships may include agreements with insurance companies to access claims information, collaboration with auto auctions for data on vehicle sales and transactions, and alliances with service centers to acquire maintenance and repair records.

With access to these records, car buyers can verify the condition of any vehicle for sale and easily spot vehicles with hidden records with the United States DMVs, Canadian DMV, car dealerships, law enforcement agencies, and more.

Why Every Car Accident Doesn’t Get Reported to CARFAX?

Carfax completely relies on insurers and repair shops to get information on damages and accidents. If a car was in an accident, as long as it was reported to an insurance company, you can expect to find it in their database.

However, in some cases, these reports are not submitted, making it impossible to appear in a report from Carfax. 

Common Car Fax Problems

Although this provider stands as one of the top providers of vehicle history reports, it still has its downsides. Here are a few common complaints:

Inaccurate Information

Some users report discrepancies between the CARFAX report and the actual history of their vehicles. Discrepancies identified here may include incorrect accident records, mileage readings, and others.

Challenges in Correcting Errors

When users identify errors in their CARFAX history reports, they may encounter difficulties in getting the information corrected. Submitting requests online and making the right corrections is a tedious process.

Impact on Vehicle Value

Incorrect reports can significantly affect a vehicle’s value. One user reported that a single error in the report of his clean car cost them $7,000. Sellers may find it challenging to sell or trade in their cars due to inaccurate information, leading to devaluation.

Lack of Response

Some users have expressed frustration with their customer service. Emails sent to the provided address ([email protected]) may not always receive confirmation or timely responses.

While CARFAX remains a valuable resource for many buyers, it’s essential to verify information independently and address any discrepancies promptly. You can always double-check car history information with other sites such as Detailed Vehicle History, AutoCheck, and others.

Importance of Accurate Vehicle History

Having accurate vehicle history information, including ownership records, accident records, and the like is extremely important and it can greatly influence the outcome of a sale or purchase. Here are some reasons why getting access to vehicle history records is important:

  • Informed decision-making: When car buyers and sellers have full access to every detail about the vehicle of interest, they can make even more accurate decisions and have better transactions at the end of the day.

  • Better Negotiations: A report gives access to market value, and some providers even give access to sales and auction history. This makes it easier to identify the true worth of any vehicle and negotiate accordingly.

  • Avoiding lemons: No one wants to end up with a lemon and we’re certain you don’t want that as well. With vehicle history information, you can spot title brand records – salvage titles, rebuilt titles, junk titles, and more, allowing you to save yourself the stress that comes with buying a lemon.

  • Safety and reliability: Remain safe and enjoy reliability with accurate vehicle history records. With these records, you can check for pending recalls that may cause a threat to your safety and your family’s or neighbor’s. You can also avoid stolen vehicles with police reports found in some vehicle history reports.

  • Resale value: For sellers, providing accurate vehicle history can increase the resale value of their cars. A comprehensive history report reassures potential buyers of the car’s condition and maintenance history, making it more attractive in the competitive used car market.

Overall, a detailed vehicle history report gives car buyers and sellers confidence in their transactions and empowers them to make the right decisions.

Can I provide reports for customers with Vehicle databases?

Yes, you can provide Carfax reports for customers interested in this service. If your business requires a lot of vehicle records and historical data, you can consider using our Carfax API alternative to access vehicle information.

Our Vehicle History API simply gives you access to the data you need for any vehicle. We have over 60 million vehicle records and in a few seconds, you can call this API to access data anytime.

What data can we provide? Every single vehicle record you want to provide, we have in our database including the following:

  • Accident history
  • Damage Records
  • Theft records
  • Service History
  • Maintenance records
  • Title brand records
  • Flood damage records
  • Sales History
  • Auction records with images if available
  • Reported mileage records
  • Vehicle specifications, and more.

With this API, companies like Carfax and other businesses can provide reports in JSON or HTML format. The HTML reports can be customized with your branding. This means you can simply rebrand and resell reports instantly.

Sign up now to get 15 free credits to explore our APIs. You can also book a demo and we would be happy to show you our services.

How does Carfax get its information? Now you know the answer to this question! Overall, Carfax is widely regarded as a trusted source for vehicle history information, empowering consumers and businesses to make informed decisions when buying, selling, or evaluating used cars.

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