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November 22, 2021
Always check the vehicle history report before purchasing a used car. The report can help you determine the risk of the purchase as well as a fair offer.
While most people know of “CARFAX” for generating vehicle history reports, AutoCheck is another great resource to use.
But how does an AutoCheck report work?
Learn all about what to expect with your AutoCheck report and what to keep an eye out for.
Table of Contents
An AutoCheck Report is a vehicle history report. AutoCheck gathers information about the vehicle based on its VIN, including accident history, mileage, title status, and more.
Experian, a credit reporting company, now powers AutoCheck. They rely on many accident resources and provide you with an AutoCheck Score summary of historical data.
AutoCheck offers a Buyback Protection policy. This policy states that they will buy back your vehicle under certain conditions. They will buy the car back if they missed the state title brand that was reported before the report was run. In this case, AutoCheck will buy the vehicle for 110% of the J.D. Power NAD guides' retail value and up to $500 for aftermarket accessories.
Note that not all vehicles are eligible for buyback protection. AutoCheck informs you if the vehicle does or does not qualify on the history report.
An AutoCheck Report is fairly affordable. It costs $24.99 for a single report. You can also purchase 25 reports (used within 21 days) for $49.99.
Every AutoChck vehicle report provides you with an AutoScore. The score is a quick way to understand the vehicle’s history and compare it to other vehicles. The higher the score (out of 100), the lower the risk of unidentified issues.
AutoCheck leverages all of the data it finds on the vehicle to come up with the score. For example, accidents and high mileage will lower the score.
However, you should also understand the score range for different vehicles. Some vehicles’ ranges do not go up to 100. Older vehicles may have a lower range than newer vehicles. To understand the full picture, you should examine the AutoCheck Score as well as the range for that type of vehicle.
AutoCheck shows the vehicle’s ownership history. It shows the list of owners, including when each purchased the vehicle, where they purchased the vehicle, the dates of ownership, and the length of each ownership.
AutoCheck looks for state title brands. If any are reported to the DMV, then AutoCheck notes them. Examples of state title brands include:
The AuotCheck report indicates if the vehicle was in any accidents reported. Keep in mind that not all accidents get reported to AutoCheck. For any accidents it finds, AutoCheck will state the date and location.
The damage check portion of the report will outline damage-related events. AutoCheck recommends you evaluate the report to assess if repairs were made following damage-related events. The damage check events include:
Other branded titles and specific events that do not fit in the other categories are reported here. For example, insurance loss records, abandoned title records, repossessed records, and corrected title records are reported here.
AutoCheck assesses the odometer. It will report a problem if it finds a discrepancy between the odometer and the reported readings. For example, it may show “EML” if the odometer exceeds the mechanical limit or NAM for Not Actual Mileage.
Does the vehicle have any unaddressed safety recalls? If so, it’s reported under this section. While safety recalls are normal, open ones that have not yet been addressed are a concern.
The detailed vehicle history is a timeline of the vehicle’s events. For example, it will show the date, location, odometer reading, data source, and any other details. If there are any discrepancies (conflicting reports from two different sources) in the timeline, those sections will be bolded and highlighted in red.
AutoCheck also has a helpful glossary. The glossary explains relevant vehicle history terms. You can find all of the key terms in alphabetical order with a brief description of each.
For example, a few terms the glossary defines are “Auction Announced as Exceeds Mechanical Limits”, “NHTSA Crash Test Vehicle”, and “Taxi Use". The glossary can be extremely useful for reading and understanding the vehicle history report.
If you spot any red flags in the report, do more research before moving forward with the purchase. Here are some AutoCheck red flags to keep an eye out for:
AutoCheck can be a great option for generating and comparing vehicle history reports. However, there are other resources available for this. Some of the top AutoCheck alternatives include:
AutoCheck and CARFAX are both trusted, quality options for a vehicle history report. AutoCheck is less expensive and is well-known for learning about auctioned cars. While CARFAX is more expensive, it’s known for being more accurate for mileage and owner history.
Some dealerships offer a free AutoCheck report with their vehicles, which is the only consistent way to get a free AutoCheck report. Sometimes, AutoCheck offers partial free reports. After the Harvey and Barry hurricanes, they provided free flood reports.
AutoCheck reports are trustworthy, but they can only relay reported information. Any vehicle history report is only one tool you should use when purchasing a used vehicle. You should also test drive when possible and consider a pre-sale inspection before purchasing the vehicle.
If you are shopping for used cars, then you need to compare vehicle history reports. While there are several options available, AutoCheck is affordable and convenient. Their AutoCheck Score makes it easy to understand your report and compare multiple vehicles.
AutoCheck reports are fairly affordable. They also have a good reputation. However, they are often seen as slightly less reliable than CARFAX reports. Still, investing in AutoCheck reports alongside other reports and inspections can help you save the huge expense and headache of dealing with a lemon.
While some insurance companies may report accidents to AutoCheck, not all do. It’s possible that not every accident shows up on an AutoCheck report. Furthermore, not every reported accident includes the full details. Keep this in mind as you shop for your next vehicle.
The majority of body shops do not report accidents to AutoCheck, because they are not required to. Even if they do, it may only show up as “vehicle serviced".
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