What in a CARFAX Report Affects Vehicle Value?

CARFAX gives vehicle buyers detailed reports of what a vehicle has been through. It details everything from how many accidents the car has been in, to how many different people have owned the vehicle, and even the service records of the vehicle. CARFAX is designed to protect the consumer from buying a vehicle that has had any type of damage. If you are looking to sell your vehicle, you may want to view the CARFAX report to see what is on there so you can ask potential buyers a fair price.

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Vehicle Description

A CARFAX report will tell a consumer all of the information about a vehicle’s make, model, and color, as well as any additional options that the vehicle may have installed. This can make the value of your vehicle either go up or down depending on the options and type of vehicle you have.



Any accident that gets reported to CARFAX will definitely affect the value of your vehicle. CARFAX reports show any type of accidents or damage that a car has sustained. Also, a CARFAX report will let the consumer know if a vehicle has sustained any type of structural damage. Structural damage can be the result of many different types of accidents ranging from minor dings in a parking lot, to a major accident on a busy street. Structural damage strictly means that the frame or unibody was repaired at some point. If there is structural damage at any point in the vehicle’s life, then the value of the vehicle will definitely be lowered.



A CARFAX report will tell the consumer if an airbag has been deployed, or if there was an accident where there was a chance of the airbag being deployed. If the airbags were deployed, the value of the vehicle could go down.


Manufacturer Recall

When a car manufacturer realizes that they have installed faulty items in a vehicle they will do a recall. Usually when a recall is issued, a third of the vehicles that need the recall do not get them. This means that there are several vehicles on the road that have faulty components in them. If a vehicle was in need of a recall and did not get it, then the value of that vehicle will be affected.



A CARFAX report will include an odometer check. If the odometer has been tampered with, appears to have any kind of damage, or the records of a vehicle’s mileage do not add up, the odometer check will be listed as having inconsistencies. Mileage inconsistencies will affect the value of the vehicle.


Service Records

CARFAX keeps fairly detailed service records of vehicles. If a vehicle’s service records are not complete or show that the car was not cared for, then the vehicle’s value goes down. It is important to keep up on the vehicle’s maintenance for many reasons. One major reason is that you will get more money for your vehicle when you decide to sell it. Also, the vehicle will perform better for you while you drive it.


Essentially, any damage or undesirable things that happen to a vehicle while it is in your possession will affect the value of your vehicle. CARFAX keeps detailed information on vehicles and that information then informs people’s decisions on what to pay for a vehicle. The good thing about CARFAX is if the vehicle is in great shape, then it will be sold for a good price and the consumer has no reason to offer a low price.


Here’s the catch, though.  CARFAX only has the data that was reported by insurance companies and partnering maintenance places.  For instance, almost all dealerships report their service work to organizations like CARFAX, but many local mechanics don’t.  So, depending on who did the work, it may or may not have been reported properly.  And when there’s a flaw in the system like that, it casts a shadow of doubt over the whole process.


With that said, it isn’t a bad tool to use to help judge the value of a vehicle. It just probably shouldn’t be the only one.


What do you look for in a used vehicle? Do you use CARFAX when shopping for used vehicles? Leave a comment in the box below.

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