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29 October 2021

A lot of money and nerves saved with CARFAX

  1. Smart: Checking the car from a distance
  2. Holger did not get this BMW in front of the house
  3. Check the vehicle history before buying a used car

CARFAX customer Holger G. has been a huge BMW fan for as long as he can remember. When he held his driver’s license in his hand at the age of 18, he knew he wouldn’t drive any other brand than BMW. Today, Holger is in his prime, the owner of an insurance agency and has driven a number of various BMW models so far.

When it became necessary to purchase a new vehicle recently, Holger went online to search for a BMW 320i. He quickly became aware of a suitable model. Low mileage, good equipment and accident-free - it seemed to be a good offer!

Smart: Checking the car from a distance

Holger contacted the seller, asked for vehicle details, and was told that the BMW was still available. From Holger’s point of view, the car had one catch: it was located 400 kilometers from his home. During a second phone call, Holger asked to have the chassis number (VIN) of the BMW. The seller was taken aback, but handed over the VIN after Holger announced that he would bring a paint thickness gauge along for the inspection. In this same breath the salesman of the allegedly “accident-free” vehicle revealed that nevertheless there had been a repainting at the rear bumper.

This immediately raised red flags for Holger. He has owned re-imported vehicles from the USA in the past, and therefore knows that each of these vehicles must be checked by CARFAX before purchasing.

In the evening of the second phone call, Holger looked at the history of the BMW 320i with the help of CARFAX. There it quickly became visible: The vehicle had an accident in the USA in 2017. And it was so bad that damage to the front, underbody, rear and rear side panels were found, and the vehicle received a Salvage Title. Three months after the accident, the BMW was exported from the USA to Lithuania.

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Holger did not get this BMW in front of the house

There, the vehicle was repaired and brought to the European market, until it finally drove on German roads again. Holger cannot say for sure if the seller knew the extent of the damage, yet the behavior on the phone was already suspicious for him, as he says. Holger provided the CARFAX Vehicle History to the seller. The seller reduced the price of the vehicle by 1.000,- and put the vehicle back online with the note “professionally repaired accident damage”.

Holger did not accept this offer and continued his search for a BMW 320i that met his expectations and did not come with hidden accident damage. “For re-imported vehicles, I would always use a CARFAX report without exception, it’s a pity that this service is not available for German vehicles for data protection reasons!”, explains Holger, and adds: “I can recommend CARFAX without reservation!”

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Check the vehicle history before buying a used car

The example of this 2016 BMW 320i makes it clear how important it is to study the history of a vehicle carefully before buying it. Holger only learned about the accident damage through his own efforts to know the vehicle’s history better, and who knows how well the damage was repaired. So, more information will help you make better decisions!

By the way, with the Periodic Table for your used car purchase, we have put together all the elements when it comes down to buying a used car. There you will learn how to choose the right car, what to look for in the vehicle history and what questions you should ask yourself and the seller on the spot!

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