Carfax doesn't say anything about whether a car was repaired. Sometimes (not
always) it reports when the car has been in a wreck, but only when there was
some kind of public record (i.e., police report) generated as a result.
If you don't like a lowball offer, say so and move on.
I got a refund from Carfax when I bought my '95 Civic EX. It was
listed as one owner when it fact I was buying it from the third owner.
They snidely asked me if I didn't think the report was worth *anything*
and I replied that since I couldn't trust the info, no. So they refunded
The guy I bought it from had bought it from his uncle three years
earlier. Same last name, different first. The owner's manual had the
name of a third person written in it, and the kid (a college student
moving back out West - I got a good deal because it was a risky sale but
the car was rust-free and under book, with a new clutch and
transmission) confirmed that his uncle had bought it slightly used. So
Carfax had no excuse for calling it a "One Owner!" car.
The question is - how carfax can know if you buy a car from family
relative and do not change the plates or pay taxes?? People often
avoid doing paperwork to save themselves the money related to
the name flip. So if he did not re-register the car after the transaction
within the family, carfax was not wrong saying 1-owner.
The owner's manual in my car has a third party name in it, because
I have lost the original one and purchased my replacement from eBay.
The memory of this college student can be fuzzy after many years,
or he simply did not know the truth. I would not rely on such statement.
Your "proofs" are not convincing to me that carfax was wrong in this case.
And it was dishonest to ask for the fee back after you checked dozens
of cars using your 30-days access to the site... Bad, bad girl, Leftie ;-)
If one family member "buys" the car from another member but never changes
the legal ownership, it is NOT a legal ownership transfer. The car is still
legally owned by the person shown on the ownership papers, whom the family
now considers the "previous" owner.
The family may consider the car "owned" by the current "owner", but the
government and insurance company most certainly will not accept that as
legal if the legal papers are in the "previous" owner's name.
If there is in fact a LEGAL transfer of ownership, the the ownership papers
will reflect that fact, showing the name of the new owner. This may also
entail tax payments, new plates and other such. Some jurisdictions (such as
mine) waive the sales tax when a car is sold from one family member to
another, provided a sworn affidavit is made that the car has been
transferred as a gift, without payment.
However, Carfax must be TOLD of any ownership changes, insurance claims,
emissions failures, etc. If nobody tells, Carfax doesn't know.
Who is it who is supposed to "tell" Carfax? I assumed it was Carfax
getting the info from government sources. Otherwise, with only passive
data collection, they have no basis at all to make the claims that they
And just to clarify what should already be clear: the car was
registered under the student's name. It had previously been registered
under his uncle's name. Does anyone really think that Carfax would have
declined to defend their claim if they had any basis to do so...? They
had clearly checked, found that it was indeed a "three owner car!" and
offered only the lame justification that *some* of the information they
provided was true.
Collision info goes to no government. Only the insurance company knows. And
even then they know only if a claim is made and/or if a police charge is
As for ownership changes and emissions failures, those could only come from
the government agencies that administer those things.
That's what I gather from what I've been able to discover.
"'CarFax gets reports from 22,000 sources,' said company spokesman
Larry Gamache. He said CarFax has more information than any other
provider of car history data but said it doesn't have access to all
The seller and buyer, both indirectly "tell" Carfax by registering
the transaction, paying taxes, geting new plates, etc.
But if we get the situation where the car transfer was not registered
than government source did not have the info.
Do they claim actively persue collecting data? Where?
:-) Right. I guess we have to believe your word...
Somehow I doubt it...
They would not waste their time checking this for $40.
They just give the money back because you called and cry about it.
Do I understand correctly that you will never purchase Carfax again?
Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.