Buying a used vehicle is always risky. Even if it’s certified, inspected and under warranty there’s no telling how the previous owner (or owners) treated it. In addition to lackadaisical maintenance water damage is a major issue to be concerned with as well.
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Used car shoppers need to be especially wary of “great deals” found in used car listings.
Over the years, Carfax has become the dominant used-vehicle history reports provider, and now owners of 120 auto dealerships are filing an antitrust federal lawsuit against the company.
The “redneck” comedian Jeff Foxworthy used to joke about how safe of a driver his grandmother was, but as soon as she got behind the wheel of a rental car, all bets were off. It’s a commonly held belief that motorists abuse borrowed vehicles, taking out pent-up aggression on hired Impalas from Hertz. When it comes to buying a used car are second-hand rentals a smart choice, or something to be avoided like a holiday in North Korea?
Adding convenience and confidence to the used car buying experience, today Carfax announced a mobile app for Android users.
Buying a used car is a lot more complicated than buying a new one. You can quickly judge a car’s life by looking at its odometer, however, there are numerous other things to look out for when buying a second hand vehicle; especially one with high mileage.
Nissan North America announced today it will begin sharing information for Nissan and Infiniti vehicles with Carfax, in an effort to provide used-car shoppers with improved access to information on open safety and emissions recalls.
“We strive to have recall campaign work completed in a timely fashion,” said John Spoon, vice president, Parts and Service, NNA. “By working with Carfax we are making it easier for customers to determine if a vehicle has an open campaign and encouraging campaign service completion.”
The aim of this formation is to ensure that used car shoppers can access this important information through a convenient third-party database.
“Carfax and Nissan North America are committed to keeping our roadways safe,” said Larry Gamache, communications director at Carfax. “Adding Nissan and Infiniti to the list of manufacturers providing open recall campaign information to Carfax helps notify car owners and buyers and gets these cars into dealerships to be fixed.”
“Recall completion is critically important to us,” said Jim Roach, senior vice president of Parts & Service for American Honda. “By working with Carfax, American Honda provides another way for customers to increase their awareness and need to address recall repairs.”
Carfax, which provides vehicle history information to potential buyers of used cars, is a commonly used tool among used vehicle shoppers. Recall information will be available to Carfax customers upon entering a Honda or Acura VIN number.
Hit the jump to read the official press release
If you’re on the go and looking to do a little homework on that used car you’re thinking of buying, then InstaVIN is for you. A new text-message-based accident-history report search system, InstaVIN is free for a limited time and works along the same lines as CarFax.
Here’s how it works: customers text a car’s vehicle identification number to InstaVIN, and within a few seconds, you get a report on that car’s accident history. You also get pricing information that is culled from data using recent transaction and the accident history reports. Claiming to be more accurate than a CarFax report, it also comes at a cheaper price (CarFax’s accident, service and other car history data will run you about $34.99. MobileTrac, the company behind InstaVIN, charges $1.99 for accident reports and $6.99 vehicle history reports).
Says MobileTrac CEO Jim Irish: “Our data is delivered in real time, so unlike CarFax, we don’t collect data sources and update it four times a year. We ping all of our data sources within seconds and get back what the report. CarFax does not do that. They buy data and update it quarterly.”
And it helps that InstaVIN is easy to use. This patent-pending service allows you to text the last eight digits of a vehicle’s VIN number to “INSTA” or 46782, and you’ll instantly receive an accident history report via SMS messaging. It works with SMS text messaging on virtually all phones and carriers and is not limited to a particular phone application. It’s great for dealers too, as it allows instant access to real-time information that is updated continuously, and it includes a “Vehicle Valuator” guide, featuring real-time vehicle values with available inventory, based on local market data.
The trial offer ends June 30, so give it a test drive for free while you still can. To try the text-message reporting just sent a VIN to 46782 and they’ll send you one free report.