AutoCheck Trash Talks CarFax in The Battle of Reported Accidents

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

Experian’s AutoCheck has thrown down the gauntlet to its competitor, CarFax. AutoCheck says it’s better at providing the accident information car buyers want. This morning’s press release is all about diss and dat. “A new quantitative analysis conducted by Pipal Research, an independent, custom research firm, comparing AutoCheck and Carfax vehicle history reports, demonstrates that AutoCheck holds significant competitive advantages by reporting twice the number of accidents . . . By having access to more reported accident information when stocking their inventories and at the time of sale, dealers are better equipped to bring higher quality used cars onto their lots and be able to demonstrate that quality to consumers who place high value on this information.” CarFax is having none of it. “We’ve had claims like this made us against us in the past,” Communications Director Larry Gamache says. “Show me the study.” Gamache has no doubts about the supremacy of his company’s accident data. “We have 22,000 sources of information and 6.5 billion pieces of information in our database. CarFax is bar none the absolute best provider of vehicle history information. Period.” Ball’s in your court AutoCheck.

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Jonathan Gregory Jonathan Gregory on Sep 02, 2009

    Having pulled dozens of AutoCheck reports in the last few weeks in my quest for a used SUV, I've identified 3 occurences where AutoCheck reported accident data that CarFax did not (when CarFax was provided gratis of seller). I didn't encounter any vice-versa situations. CarFax did however seem better at reporting some service records - especially on fleet vehicles. But since AutoCheck costs considerably less than CarFax and provides all the crucial data desired (and in some cases more)... Experian has every right to beat their chest about it.

  • WalterRohrl WalterRohrl on Sep 02, 2009

    I don't see how any of the services are capable of accurately reporting accidents if they get the info from sources such as state databases. For example, my state of CA has a law that says I have to report any accident with a damage result of over $500 or an injury to the DMV, however there is no enforcement. Hence, when my wife did $4500 of damage to the Jag a few years ago on the rear bumper of a delivery truck, we had the insurance pay the body shop and did not tell the DMV. Sure enough, a couple of years later, I decided to run the VIN through a buddy's CarFax account and there was no report regarding the damage. Rear door was mangled as was the quarterpanel. Certainly something I'd prefer to know about if I was buying the car...

  • Gardiner Westbound Gardiner Westbound on Sep 03, 2009

    I recently assisted in the purchase of two late model used cars. Every car under serious consideration was checked against two Canadian sources, Car Proof and UCDA Auto Check. In the case of a GM CPO the Car Proof report saved our ass. It revealed the car had been in two collisions. Certified used cars are guaranteed collision-free! Caught out, the dealer said he knew the former owner personally and the car had never been in an accident. It had been keyed twice, paint repairs accounting for the notation. Our mechanic's under car inspection confirmed extensive collision repairs. It sometimes takes six or more months for information to reach the reporting agency. Compare both history reports. If one missed something, the other may have it. Carefully examine the documentation to ensure all pages are present and apply to the car under consideration. Reputable dealers provide cost free reports, though they'll grumble about supplying two. In that case let your feet do the talking. Engage a competent mechanic or inspection agency to thoroughly examine the vehicle. Cost varies, but the range is $50 to $150. Dealers routinely erase diagnostic codes. Drive the car far enough for new codes, if any, to register. Specifically instruct the mechanic to report scanner codes, evidence of deferred maintenance, abuse, body or frame damage and misrepresentation. Delete the vehicle from consideration if the mechanic's report contradicts any statements made by the seller.

  • Hardcase Hardcase on Aug 29, 2010

    I did one ck with AutoCheck and they did not report the odometer accurately so in the future the best judge of an auto is ME-Why should I PAY for some bogus info--If everyone wants to waste their money get a ck of the auto from anyone. I would rather pay a mechanic $30 for 5 min of his time including an inspection on a hoist. The only reason I used AutoCheck is the car I was interested in was made in Canada. Hardcase