Get a Carfax for Free
Carfax is an organization that tracks the history of every vehicle based on its Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), the information of which can be helpful when you buy a used car. If you have the VIN of a particular vehicle manufactured as early as 1981, you can purchase a Carfax report that provides you with information regarding the vehicle's title and registration history, accident history, service history, and more.
Although in most cases you are required to pay a fee to obtain a Carfax report, there are several methods of obtaining a Carfax report on a particular vehicle for free. We'll show you how.
Obtain free Carfax reports directly from the dealership
- Obtain a free Carfax report from the car dealership. Most car dealerships have a subscription account with Carfax that allows them to provide you with free Carfax reports on all their used vehicles for sale.
- Contact the car dealership before you visit their salesroom to verify that they provide free Carfax reports.
- Ask a representative from the car dealership for a free Carfax report on the vehicle you are considering to buy.
- View a Carfax report online at the dealership's website. Many car dealerships will provide direct links to free Carfax reports on their websites.
- Access the section of the car dealership's website that features used cars. In most cases, links for free Carfax reports will be embedded onto the website next to descriptions and pictures of used cars for sale.
Obtain free Carfax reports from the Carfax website
- The Carfax website features used cars being sold by car dealerships in your area that subscribe to Carfax reports.
- Find a car. Click on the Carfax link provided in the Sources section of this article, then click on "Find a Car" at the top of your session.
- Plug in the numbers. Enter the criteria for the used vehicle you want to buy, such as the year, make, and model, then enter your zip or postal code. Designate whether you want to view search results for used cars that have only had one previous owner ("Show only CARFAX 1-Owner Vehicles"), then click on the "Search" button. You will then be provided with a list of used cars being sold by used car dealerships in your area based on the criteria you entered.
- Click on "View FREE Carfax Report" below the used vehicle description to view the history of any used car displayed on the website.
- Access a list of car dealerships in your local area that subscribe to Carfax services. If you're not sure the make and model you are searching for, visit the Carfax website at http://www.carfaxonline.com/. From the "Carfax for Dealers" link at the bottom of your session, you can enter your zip code within the "Check your Competition" field to see locations that provide Carfax reports.
- If a car dealership or vehicle website provides free Carfax reports, but some links to free Carfax reports are missing for particular vehicles, it is possible that the dealership has not run recent Carfax reports for those vehicles. Contact the website or dealership directly to obtain the free Carfax report for that particular vehicle.
- If a car dealership or private seller is unwilling to provide you with a vehicle's Carfax report, it may be because some states (such as Oregon) do not allow auto dealers to offer any "free" products or services to their customers to help sell a car. In this case, you may want to consider paying the required fees for a Carfax report before buying the vehicle in question.
Sources and Citations
- http://www.carfax.com/free_carfax_reports.cfx – research source