Carfax Adds FEMA Advisoryby Steve Cypher on Monday, November 19th, 2012
In an announcement that we believe is especially important to consumers with less than perfect credit, Carfax recently announced that it is taking the extra step of helping to identify vehicles that were last registered in areas that suffered from recent flood damage.
At Auto Credit Express we understand why this is significant because for the last two decades we’ve been helping people with credit problems find dealers for their best opportunities for approved auto loans.
Since a majority of these buyers end up financing used cars, it’s important that they have a clear understanding of just what they’re purchasing and a vehicle history report provides a critical first step in determining whether a vehicle they’re considering has had any past issues.
Vehicle history reports
One of the keys to a successful bad credit auto loan is relying on the fact that the used car being financed won’t end up costing more money because of serious hidden problems.
The first place buyers should begin is with a vehicle history report.
Last week, Carfax made this announcement:
To help consumers and dealers avoid potential fraud, Carfax is identifying specific cars that were last registered or located in FEMA-declared major disaster areas from Hurricane Sandy. A public service announcement included with Carfax Vehicle History Reports alerts buyers about a car’s last-known location and reminds them to check for flood damage during a pre-purchase inspection. Adding this advisory may help reduce the chance of damaged vehicles being resold to unsuspecting consumers during the recovery period.
Vehicle history report costs
As always, the cost is $39.99 for a single report, $49.99 for five reports or $54.99 an unlimited number of vehicle history reports by license plate and 5 reports by VIN over a 30 day period.
Just the first step
While this additional information is certainly a step in the right direction and used car buyers should always run a vehicle history report on any vehicle they’re seriously considering, these reports, as good as they are, can sometimes be incomplete.
Therefore, once you’ve narrowed it down to the vehicle you want, there is one more important step that needs to be taken.
If the vehicle history report shows that the car has a clean vehicle history, you should then ask the seller if you can have it inspected – both mechanically and structurally. Then take it to an ASE certified master mechanic and to a body specialist to have these services performed.
Vehicle inspections are offered by both individual mechanics and companies. The cost typically runs between $100 and $200, but consider it money well spent, as a car with hidden damage means a lower resale value and could cost you thousands of dollars in repair bills.
If the seller refuses to allow this, we suggest just walking away from the deal.
Free flood damage check
One more thing, according to Carfax “As a public service, Carfax offers a free check for flood damage at flood.carfax.com. Carfax is working with law enforcement, state agencies and private companies to make sure vehicles flooded and damaged by Sandy are properly branded and reported.”
As we see it
A vehicle history report can be a valuable tool when narrowing down the choice of which used car to buy. Just be sure this is followed up with a thorough physical and mechanical inspection of the vehicle you plan on financing.
Another service that’s you should know about: Auto Credit Express specializes in matching consumers with poor car credit with those new car dealers that can offer them their best chance for approved auto loans.
So if you’re ready to reestablish your auto credit, you can begin now by filling out our online car loans application.