Car history report errors can prove costly if they aren't discovered and fixed

A crash report error can impact a car's value from $500 to more than $2,000
Car history report errors can prove costly if they aren't discovered and fixed
Posted at 5:00 AM, Jul 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-28 08:59:33-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — Market research shows right now with inventory and microchip shortages the value of many used cars is up roughly $10,000. With that kind of value, many people are looking to sell or trade in their vehicles to help them afford a newer ride. But News5 discovered just one small mistake on a car history report can cost you thousands of dollars in the process if you don’t find it and get it fixed.

A car history report has become a key component of car buying decisions, helping people answer questions to determine how much it’s really worth.

Was it serviced regularly? Is the odometer accurate? Has the car been damaged in a crash? This one piece of information alone can impact a car’s value from $500 dollars to more than $2,000 for a severe crash.

Every vehicle has a history. That car’s journey ultimately helps to determine its value.

Carfax has been around since 1984 and in that time the company has compiled more than 29 billion records to build out the history of the vehicles around us.

“We have data from several sources. These data sources are sources that we’ve vetted, we trust. It’s important for us to be building accurate information. That is what our brand is built on,” said CARFAX Spokesperson Emilie Voss.

With so many records sometimes mistakes happen and if they aren’t corrected it can cost consumers thousands of dollars in a vehicle purchase or sale.

”Well, maybe this is a good time to trade in my three year old car,” said Carolyn Moore who learned about the costly experience firsthand when she wanted to trade in her Subaru.

”He said you didn’t tell me you had an accident and I’m like, we didn’t. It was a disabling accident that required towing. We racked our brain and I don’t remember everything, but I would’ve remembered that,” said Moore.

She reported the error and it took a few weeks, but eventually carfax investigators determined the accident was in error.

Making this one correction changed the value of Carolyn’s car by more than $3,000 and her trade-in offer increased after the correction was made.

It’s why News5 spoke with CARFAX about why consumers need to be aware of situations like this.

”We have a dedicated team of people. That is their job, to investigate these cases and look into the data and verify it and make sure what we have on the report is accurate. So they are standing by and waiting if you see something,” said Voss.

A single carfax report costs about $40 and on AutoCheck it’s about $25 dollars, but catching an error or other issues can save you some serious money.

CARFAX also has a history-based value tool you can check out or get your car appraised.

To get in touch with CARFAX about an issue on your vehicle history report, click here.

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