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CARFAX, Inc. is an American company that provides information about vehicles to individuals and businesses. Its most well-known product is the CARFAX Vehicle History Report, which is one of its best-known products. Other products include vehicle listings, car valuations, and advice on buying and maintaining cars.
History of Carfax
Ewin Barnett III and Robert Daniel Clark founded CARFAX in Columbia, Missouri in 1984. When the company first offered the CARFAX vehicle history report to the dealership market in 1986, it worked closely with the Missouri Automobile Dealers Association in order to develop an early version of the report. A database of 10,000 records was used in the production of these reports, which were then distributed via fax. The company launched a website in December 1996 in an effort to sell its reports directly to consumers.
Several ownership changes have taken place since the founding of CARFAX. In the fall of 1999, Carfax became a wholly owned subsidiary of R.L. Polk & Company. IHS acquired Polk and CARFAX in the year 2013. In 2016, IHS combined with Markit, becoming IHS Markit after a merger of equals. IHS Markit was acquired by S&P Global on February 28, 2022, which resulted in CARFAX becoming a brand within the newly formed S&P Global Mobility division.
Products and services of Carfax
Vehicle history reports
It is widely known that the company’s best-known product is the CARFAX Vehicle History Report. A CARFAX Report can provide information about the number of owners a used car has had, accidents it has been involved in, title issues, whether it was a fleet vehicle, and its maintenance history, among other aspects of its history.
Information sourcing of Carfax
CARFAX claims to have access to more than 20 billion records from more than 100,000 sources worldwide, including motor vehicle departments for all 50 U.S. states as well as the ten provinces of Canada. There are many sources of information available to the company, including U.S. state title and registration records, auto auction records, Canadian motor vehicle records, rental and fleet vehicle companies, consumer protection agencies, state inspection stations, extended warranty companies, insurance companies, fire departments, police departments, manufacturers, inspection companies, repair and service facilities, dealers, and import/export companies.
It is important to remember that CARFAX only publishes information that has been reported to them. Consumers should not rely solely upon these reports when checking out used vehicles. Not every accident is disclosed and CARFAX uses the phrase “no accidents have been reported to CARFAX,” with the emphasis on “reported.” A consumer should not solely rely on CARFAX when checking out a used vehicle.
In spite of the fact that CARFAX keeps expanding its database and resources, some information cannot be provided by CARFAX. The U.S. Drivers Privacy Protection Act of 1994 prohibits the collection or reporting of personal information, such as names, telephone numbers, and addresses, of current and former owners. There are some instances when CARFAX may make mistakes because it does not have access to every facility. It is important to note that CARFAX allows consumers and dealerships to add information to its reports in the event that information is disputed but cannot be verified.
Legal disputes of Carfax
West v. CARFAX
During the 2006 class action lawsuit, the plaintiff claimed that CARFAX violated consumer protection laws because they did not disclose the limitations of their service, specifically their inability to check accident records in 23 states across the U.S. In spite of the fact that the company claims that their database includes information from all fifty states, the lawsuit was settled in May 2007 by the Trumbull County Common Pleas Court in Warren, Ohio.
In addition to boasting that it has information about major accidents in all 50 states, the company also offers a buyback guarantee to bolster its claims. The settlement in the West v. CARFAX, Inc lawsuit was overturned not on the merits of the issue, but on the terms of the settlement, which failed to adequately serve the affected consumers, and due to the fact that “not enough consumers were notified and the judge should not have agreed to the settlement without knowing more about the costs that would be incurred by CARFAX.”
The term used car, pre-owned car, or second hand car is
used to refer to a vehicle that was previously owned by a retailer. There are a variety of outlets in which used cars are
sold, including franchised and independent car dealers, rental car companies, buy here pay here dealerships, leasing offices, auctions, and private parties. In addition to offering no-haggle prices and “certified” used vehicles, some car retailers also offer extended warranty plans and service plans.
Used car industry.
As a result of the difference in income levels between exporting and importing countries, depreciation levels of vehicles differ greatly. The price of a vehicle depreciates more rapidly in high-income countries than in low-income countries, so used vehicle sellers in high-income countries are thus able to sell their used vehicles at a higher price in low-income countries. This is why used vehicles are
There are four main countries that export new and used cars (which includes both new and used vehicles): Japan, the EU, the United States, and Canada.
In the EU, 60% of all used cars are
marketed in other EU nations. Specifically, the exports of used cars in the EU are
focused on East Europe, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and Africa.
The main markets for used vehicle exports from the United States are Mexico, Nigeria, and Benin.
estimated that 90% of the cars imported into the African continent are from Europe and many of these cars do not meet European emission standards.
In 1898, the Empire State Motor Wagon Company,
located in Catskill, New York, was one of the first American
used car lots in the country.
As far as the used vehicle market is concerned, it is substantially larger than other large retail sectors, such as the school and office products market (US$206 billion in estimated annual sales) and the home improvement market (US$291 billion in estimated annual sales).
With annual sales of over US$350 billion, the used vehicle industry represents almost half of the U.S. auto retail market and is the largest segment of the U.S. retail market. There were 17.6 million
used cars and trucks sold in the United States in 2016, and 38.5 million in the world in 2016.
Used vehicle retailer.
When it comes to purchasing a used car, the Federal Trade Commission recommends that consumers take into account the reputation of the car retailer when making a decision.
Vehicle history reports
Approximately 34% of American used-vehicle buyers purchased a vehicle history report in 2006. As an alternative to checking a used vehicle’s track record, you can use a vehicle history report. A vehicle history report is a record of the vehicle that is based on the vehicle identification number (VIN) of the vehicle. As a result of these reports, public records will be
made available, such as vehicle title branding, lemon law buybacks, odometer fraud, and recalls. Several factors may be evident in the report, including minor/moderate collision damage, improper vehicle maintenance, and attempts to identify vehicles that have previously been
rented by car rental agencies, police and emergency services, or taxi fleets. It is important for consumers to carefully research their vehicles, as these reporting services only provide information to which they have access.
Many countries provide vehicle history as a service by the government, but it is usually
limited in scope and provides only information about one aspect of the vehicle history, for example the Ministry of Transport history of the United Kingdom. There are only about a dozen
approved data providers in the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Motor Vehicle Title Registration System, half of which sells car history data to consumers; the rest only work with car dealerships.
Consumers cannot access any of these data providers for free at the moment, and many are not even free for car dealers. The Better Business Bureau recommends that you use one of their approved data providers when doing research on a used car. In order to compile a vehicle history report, many sources are
utilized, including the police, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA),
finance houses, the national mileage register, insurance companies, and industry organizations.
There are a number of services in the United Kingdom and the
United States that sell reports to dealers and then
encourage them to display the reports on their Internet sites. This service is most prominent in these countries. Dealers pay for these reports and then offer them to potential buyers of the vehicle for free.
DVLA provides information about vehicle registration to certain companies
in the UK in order to protect consumers and to prevent fraud. In addition to the information collected by the companies, police, finance companies, and insurance companies may also be
added to the reports. Customers of the motor trade as well as the general public can use this service online.
In India, it is the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways’ responsibility to provide information related
to the registration of vehicles, as well as the history of their service.