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Resident Nice Guy
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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, wondering if carfaxes are free anywhere? I thought they might have done the same as credit scores used to cost money but now are available free. The wife saw a vehicle on the way home and I'd like to know more about it without having to talk to anyone on the lot.

Thanks for your time!

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78 Custom 351M NP435 NP205 Sniper EFI Hedman Headers Magnaflow Muffler 4.56 Gears Grizzly lockers
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I know when I go to the websites for my local dealers that they sometimes show some sort of carfax-like report. I don't know if that's the dealer doing everyone a favor or if there is indeed a free report that people can have access to. Either way I agree, I'd rather not deal with the salesmen when wanting more info. Sometimes I'll drive through the lots really really slow and look interested and see if I can get them to come running and follow me around. In the MMO world we call this kiting....
 

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I just went to one of the dealer sites to check again. Our local Ford dealer has it listed as "AutoCheck: A part of Experian". That sounds kinda credit report related-ish.

Edit: It also looks like it's "sponsored" by the dealership, so it's free on their site. I guess we have to pay for it if we're doing it on our own.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Heya doosen and thanks for the help!

This is a mom & pop used lot, they don't offer anything for free :). I found a competing service at vincheck . info but it's lacking in detail. I may try my bank. Someone told me their bank gave them one but it was because they were getting a loan through them. Maybe mine will hook a buddy up without the loan :)
 

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Well, maybe you'll get lucky.

I've seen someone on the forum offer free carfax reports, but I don't know if it was just a situational thing or if they get so many a month and just had some extras or whatever. I want to say it was curtwow, but I don't want to be wrong, so I'm not going to tag him. lol
 

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Carfax isn't all that accurate. It will only track what was reported. So if the car was in a flood and dried out that won't show up, if it was wrecked and fixed at home or by a friend of a friend's shop it won't show up. All it really tells you is if an insurance company ever fixed it or totaled it out.
That said you can sometimes get results by googling the VIN. I've done it before with cars from this scummy local lot that lists on FB and found picks of the cars before they were fixed.

Here's an example:
listing:
Auction listing:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
heya pfun and thanks for taking the time to help!

Carfax isn't all that accurate.
I never considered these reports to be incredibly accurate, just more accurate than guessing.

That said you can sometimes get results by googling the VIN
I have stopped trying that. I get about 50 results of funnel sites that spoof the content to the Google quick view text ("theft records found for <vin>") then when you get to the page, it's a vin text box with about 250 vins below it for search results. I've never actually found useful information for any vehicles I've searched. As soon as people figured out how to exploit google-only response then giving the unwashed masses an entirely different page, the usefulness of those types of searches really tanked.

My bank said no dice on the free report but I have an account I never use with both MFCU and NFCU so I'm going to call them tomorrow. They're usually pretty cool about helping members.
 
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