CARFAX Glossary

As the old saying goes: Accidents happen. This concept applies just as well to the driving of cars as any other situation. Accidents vary in severity, ranging from fender benders to the complete totaling of a vehicle.

With this in mind, it can sometimes be very hard to uncover whether or not there has been an accident in a vehicle’s history if the vehicle in question has been repaired very well. Things get more complicated when a vehicle is imported from another country – and even more so when from the United States. Often times, potential buyers feel that they must simply trust the sellers word that the car has a clean history. Thankfully, there is a way to help verify this information before making a purchase.

The CARFAX Vehicle History Report identifies and alerts consumers about accidents in a vehicle’s history. For vehicles imported from the U.S., CARFAX receives information about accidents in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Canada. Different information in a vehicle's history can indicate an accident or damage, such as: salvage auction, fire damage, police-reported accident, crash test vehicle, damage disclosure, collision repair facility and automotive recycler records. Not every accident or damage event is reported and not all reported are provided to CARFAX. Details about the accident or damage event when reported to CARFAX (e.g. severity, impact location, airbag deployment) are included on the CARFAX Vehicle History Report.  Once an accident is identified, it will be important to research and learn the type, severity, impact location, whether or not airbags were deployed, etc.

The type of accident may range from slight to extreme. In any case, accidents affect the value of a vehicle. When an accident is indicated on the CARFAX Vehicle History Report, CARFAX recommends thorough inspections by an independent mechanic before purchasing the vehicle.

Different information in a vehicle's history can indicate an accident or damage, such as: salvage auction, fire damage, police-reported accident, crash test vehicle, damage disclosure, collision repair facility and automotive recycler records. Not every accident or damage event is reported and not all reported are provided to CARFAX. Details about the accident or damage event when reported to CARFAX (e.g. severity, impact location, airbag deployment) are included on the Vehicle History Report. CARFAX recommends you obtain a vehicle inspection from your dealer or an independent mechanic.

Just like there are many different types of vehicles on the road, there are also many different types of drivers. Some of them use their vehicles infrequently, while others use their vehicles all day, every day. This variation in vehicle usage can be measured through the mileage which is put on a vehicle’s odometer. Vehicle mileage is one of the top determining factors which can “age” a vehicle. While there is no indication whether a vehicle’s mileage was accumulated while driving in a city or on a highway, there is other information which can be assumed.

For example, vehicles which have been used commercially tend to have much higher mileage, due to the fact they are being used for work purposes. This does not automatically mean a vehicle with a higher than average mileage was used for non-personal reasons. But when this information is known, in conjunction with other helpful records found on the CARFAX Vehicle History Report, potential buyers can begin piecing together a fuller picture about the vehicle’s past. This is helpful in determining whether or not a buyer really wants to purchase it.

Here is how the Average Mileage listed on the CARFAX Report works: This number is not the actual odometer reading for this car. Rather, it is an estimate of how many kilometers an average car of this make, model, fuel type and age would be expected to have if used solely for personal use. When comparing this number to the actual mileage for this particular car, it will indicate if it has been driven more or less than average and may be a factor to help you determine its value. By checking the CARFAX Vehicle History Report, buyers can learn this information and much more, which in turn can help you make better purchase decisions.

There are many things that can happen to a vehicle over the course of its lifetime. As the old saying goes: “Accidents happen.” And when an accident occurs, there can be severe repercussions to the standing condition of the vehicle’s structure. Dents and scratches mat be easy fixed, but when a vehicle has structural damage, it can mean serious damage. One example of structural damage includes damage to the frame or chassis of the vehicle. If the accident occurred with a high level or impact force, the frame/chassis can bend or buckle in certain areas. This leaves the vehicle in a severely compromised condition.

Many of these negative side effects from an accident are difficult to see with the naked eye when a vehicle has been well repaired. Because of this, one major difficulty for used car buyers while shopping is uncovering what types of things have happened to a vehicle, including whether or not the chassis has been modified or replaced. This is one major area where the CARFAX Vehicle History Report can help. If the CARFAX Report indicates that the chassis has been modified or replaced, this means the vehicle’s frame/chassis has been either partially or fully replaced.  The alteration might have been caused by a severe accident or by a significant structural change, which requires formal approval. We recommend you verify this with your local authorities.

Thanks to its ever-growing database with over 14 billion records, CARFAX knows a lot about the pasts of millions of vehicles on the road. Checking the CARFAX Report can help uncover a lot useful information about a vehicle’s past, including whether or not it has a hidden negative history. It’s always recommended to inform yourself before you buy, and checking the CARFAX can help. This simple step can help save you from unpleasant surprises down the road.

Vehicle was registered for business purposes.

Over the lifetime of a vehicle, many modifications and add-ons are possible to be made. One of the most common is the addition of a coupling device. Essentially, this is an attachment which allows a trailer of some kind to be pulled by the vehicle. While some vehicles come with this pre-installed at the factory, there are many which are added at a later time. For example, perhaps the original owner had no use for a coupling device and another owner found it necessary.

While the addition of a coupling device in and of itself doesn’t necessarily mean too much, it can be indicative to potential buyers of a few things. First, it implies that the vehicle has been modified from its original state. There are several different ways a modification like this can be completed: It’s possible that it was an official factory-performed addition, one done by a repair shop, or even a do-it-yourself job performed by a previous owner.

Secondly, the addition of a coupling device indicates that the vehicle has been used for towing in some capacity. While it is not usually clear whether this was a trailer for carrying bikes or a full-fledged camper trailer, this is still a piece of information which may be useful for potential buyers. Towing puts additional strain on a vehicle, though many are more than capable of handling the extra weight.

When this is found on a CARFAX Vehicle History Report, it indicates that this vehicle’s most recent registration included the identified type of attached tow bar. This type of record along many other helpful information can be found on a CARFAX Report. In order to help used car shoppers have as complete a picture as possible about a vehicle, it’s always recommended to check the CARFAX before buying it

CO2 emissions refer to the release of Carbon Dioxide in the exhaust gases of a car, and are a good measure of the amount of fuel a car is burning. The g/km is a measure that quantifies the weight of Carbon Dioxide released for every Km that the car is driven and so makes it a good measure of the Fuel Economy of the car.

Most vehicles on the roads around the world are emitting certain types of toxic gases from their exhaust pipes. One of these gases is called carbon dioxide, or CO2 for short. Here in Europe, CO2 emissions are regulated on the European Union level, which has standardized the CO2 rating system.

Within Europe, the emissions standards must be met by all new vehicles. The target for 2015 requires that all new registered cars must not emit more than an average of 130 grams of CO2 per kilometer. When translated into fuel consumption (liters per 100 kilometers), this equates to 5.6 l/100km and 4.9 l/100km for petrol and diesel respectively. The average emissions levels were already well below this target by 2014, leading to a new goal for 2021 to be put in place. The new target aims to reduce emissions when compared to the average in 2007 by 40%.

It is important to note that these strict CO2 emissions regulations only apply to new vehicles. What this means for used car shoppers, is that you don’t necessarily need to worry about whether your vehicle complies or not. As long as it was in compliance when it was registered as new, there are no issues. Essentially, apart from the positive environmental impact, the main incentive for buying a used car with lower a CO2 rating is that it also means lower fuel consumption. Lower fuel consumption means less money spent at the gas station and more money in your pocket. As an additional benefit, many countries have adopted a lower tax rate for these more efficient vehicles.

One way to grade a vehicle is based upon its CO2 emissions rating. Vehicles with emissions below 120 g/km are considered to be more ecologically friendly and have a lesser impact on the environment. The CARFAX Report often displays a vehicle’s CO2 rating. This is done to assist used car shoppers in making more informer purchase decisions.

The phrase “date reported” typically refers to the date a specific incident occurred and was documented. Such events can include sale of the used car, repairs, theft, service or maintenance, etc... Since these events are summarized and documented carefully into the CARFAX Vehicle History Report, customers are able to see when an event happened by looking at the date it was reported. While there may be a minor gap between the date an event was reported and the actual event, this is seldom the case. The CARFAX Vehicle History Report lists events in order by date reported. Paying attention to the dates reported creates a chronological “story” for the life of a vehicle. 

This phrase is used to describe a situation involving a used vehicle that has been exported from a country with a different unit of measurement for distance traveled. A typical example is when used cars are exported from the U.S. and imported into Europe. In the time spent in the United States, most vehicles’ odometers record the distance a vehicle has been driven in miles. Sometimes when the vehicle is exported from the U.S. and imported into Europe, the odometer is altered to display the distance traveled in the local unit of measurement: kilometers.

When reviewing the vehicle’s history, there could be a mixture of different units measuring the vehicle’s mileage. This can be confusing and perhaps alert a potential buyer to odometer manipulation. This is not necessarily automatically a case of fraud, but buyers should beware that odometer rollback is one of the most common forms of fraud in the used car market.

Sellers choosing to update the meter reading to kilometers can manually adjust the numbers displayed by the meter. While the correct conversion for 1 mile is 1.61 kilometers, sometimes mistakes can be made or the wrong number is chosen on purpose, to help sell the car for a better price. The importation of a vehicle using different units for meter readings provides the perfect opportunity to commit this type of fraud without a buyer knowing it.

Because of this, especially in the case of an imported vehicle from the U.S., it is of great importance to check the vehicle history and to check the mileage records. Being aware of the possibility of different units for odometer reading and ensuring the conversion is accurate will help you avoid being mislead. It’s recommended to verify the mileage of a vehicle with the use of a CARFAX Vehicle History Report and a trained mechanic.

An exported vehicle is one that has been exported from one country and imported into another country. Many cars are exported from the U.S. to Europe. The cost of exporting a used vehicle can make it more expensive than vehicles manufactured domestically.

Often, checking the vehicle history of a used car that was exported from another country is difficult. Checking with the seller or importer is a good step, but they do not always have the complete history of exported vehicles from the U.S. A CARFAX Vehicle History Report can shed light on the vehicle history of cars exported from the U.S. and so help consumers in their purchase decision process. A vehicle with a negative history may take its toll later in the form of high repair costs and financial charges. A potential buyer will naturally want to pay less for an exported vehicle with negative history.

CARFAX receives information on vehicle fires from most U.S. jurisdictions. These events are taken from the actual fire department reports compiled at the scene.

States issue flood titles when a vehicle has been in a flood or has received extensive water damage.

This indicates registration for government use

The United States has exported near 2 million units of cars in 2013. Traditionally, the United States was an importer of vehicles, but since the interest in US cars rose sharply in the last couple of years the tables slowly seem to turn. Since there is a high demand for certain U.S. makes in Europe, it may not be so surprising that more than half of all cars exported from the US are made by GM, Ford and Chrysler.  Interesting detail, however, is that a study of CARFAX Europe revealed that more than 60% of all cars exported from the United States to Europe have a negative history.

CARFAX is the world’s largest provider of trusted Vehicle History Reports and conducts researches on a periodic basis. By working closely together with international ministries, governmental officials, insurance companies and trusted dealers, CARFAX is able to uncover the unique Vehicle History of many vehicles on European roads and all vehicles imported from the USA. ‘’A negative history’’ sounds broad, and so it is. It may include a car that was stolen, scrapped, was issued a salvage title, performed mileage rollback, had serious exterior or interior damage plus reparations, an excessive amount of owners and much more. The Vehicle History basically reveals whether a vehicle is trustworthy or not based on its past. Of course, there is always a basic risk involved with the purchase of a used vehicle, especially with an imported one, but CARFAX believes this risk can be minimized.

CARFAX Europe has determined that of all cars imported from the United States to Europe – About 60% have such a negative history. Consequently, this leads to many distressing purchases per year for unsuspecting customers. It often raises questions of how they could have been tricked into buying a car without having been able to see the alarming signs on the surface. CARFAX enables consumers to protect themselves against worrying investments and therefore, usually to save much invested money.
If you buy a car that was imported from the US, don’t forget to check the CARFAX report. There are many reasons why CARFAX. It may save you from a dreadful investment and a great deal of financial headaches. 

An imported vehicle is one that has been imported from another country. It is especially important to research the history of imported vehicles as their records are often difficult to find or to understand. Cars exported from the U.S. often have had problems overseas. In the case of U.S. vehicles in Europe, for example, CARFAX has determined that about 60% of these vehicles have some type of negative history. Buyers are not always aware of the problems their imported vehicle had prior to being exported.

Owners or used car shoppers of imported vehicles from the U.S. are able to check accurate information about the imported vehicle with a CARFAX Vehicle History Report. The CARFAX Vehicle History Report for an imported vehicle can disclose potential problems with that car. An imported vehicle is usually a significant investment. Checking the history of that imported vehicle enables consumers to make safer and more knowledgeable purchases and avoid making costly mistakes.

CARFAX receives data from thousands of data sources. The information source refers to the provider of the information

Every car must pass mandatory periodic examinations to ensure compliance with roadworthiness, emissions and safety requirements. If any of these inspections disclose information about the vehicle that affects the mobility, functionality or quality that is required for road usage, the car needs to get necessary service and repair. Even though cars often get inspections, it is important to know what the inspections disclosed. Therefore, we recommend used car shoppers to ask dealers about the contents of the inspection or service and maintenance records.

While some dealers and private sellers may be able to provide an inspection history, it is also important to verify it with a CARFAX Vehicle History Report. CARFAX collects service and inspection records and summarize these into a comprehensive report. Many dealers and private buyers already use this report to detect if there are any specific recurring problems with a vehicle. Some vehicles for example pass their inspection checks, but are prone to repair on certain body parts. Multiple repairs for the same issue may indicate bigger problems with the vehicle. 

Insurance claims are made to an insurance company for payment to the owner based on the terms and conditions of the insurance policy. Typically, this occurs after a vehicle was stolen, vandalized, flooded or involved in an accident. In the case of vehicle theft, an insurance claim can be submitted for the vehicle and depending on the terms of agreements, the value of the vehicle will be partially or wholly reimbursed. In the situation where the vehicle was damaged, the outcome of an insurance claim depends again upon the terms of agreements, as well as the severity of the damage. Additionally, it’s often the case that the insured person must first meet a deductible before an insurance company will pay an insurance claim.

A vehicle that was declared a ‘Total Loss’ often means that the repair costs of the vehicle would be higher than the value of the vehicle. This could result in the car being scrapped and dismantled or it could just be issued a salvage title. Under this second scenario, it might be possible to repair and return the vehicle to the roadway after passing certain inspection requirements. This situation is especially precarious as the original stability of the vehicle is no longer fully intact.

Whenever you purchase a used vehicle, especially one imported from the U.S., it’s recommended to always check to see if the car had insurance claims or was issued a salvage title. While a vehicle in an accident can often be repaired, depending upon the type and severity of the accident, the vehicle will typically have a lower value.

Often times, this sort of information may seem difficult to find out when a vehicle has been imported from overseas. CARFAX seeks to help make it easier for shoppers of used cars. Insurance claims and salvage titles are identified on all U.S. imports in the CARFAX Vehicle History Report. 

This is a certificate issued in the United States on a vehicle that was damaged to the extent that the cost of repairing the vehicle exceeded 75% of its pre-damage value, although this damage threshold may vary by individual state. Most states use this title to indicate that a vehicle is not roadworthy and cannot be titled again.

When a person leases a car from a dealer, the dealer very often sells the car to a leasing company. A leasing company can be an independent leasing company or part of a car manufacturer. The leasing company then leases the vehicle to the individual or to a company.

After the end of the lease period, the person who has leased the vehicle often has the option to purchase it. If they choose not to buy the car, the leasing company is free to sell the car to another private individual or commercial dealer or person. Leased cars are not necessarily worse than vehicles privately owned, but it is always important to be aware of a vehicle’s history. Some believe that a driver might take less care of a leased vehicle compared to one the driver has purchased. But this is clearly not always the case. In addition to reviewing service and repair records, but sure to also check the CARFAX Vehicle History Report to determine if a car was previously a lease vehicle. 

A vehicle in the U.S. with major problems that has been repurchased by or had its price renegotiated with the manufacturer. The state marks its official records or issues a title brand for lemon law vehicles. Laws vary by state as to the specific requirements for a "lemon". Most manufacturers issue some buybacks that are not the result of Lemon Laws but rather a courtesy.

These days, it’s possible to finance the purchase of just about anything. After buying a house or apartment, the purchasing of vehicles is the number one reason many people take out loans. In many cases, buying a vehicle is a big investment, and not everyone has the cash on hand to buy a car outright. Or even if they do, sometimes people choose to finance a vehicle anyways. Nevertheless, when buying a used car, it’s important to inform yourself about the financial history of the vehicle. This can help protect yourself from potential problems after completing the purchase.

Here are a few examples of what can happen in a vehicle’s financial history: In some cases, there are vehicles which have been repossessed due to unpaid loan payments. In other cases, the vehicles are sold with the loan remaining unresolved. It’s not always the case, but sometimes this can have negative repercussions for the new owner. For example, if a vehicle is sold without the loan being paid off or resolved, the bank may be able to confiscate the vehicle if they still hold the title. Thus leaving the buyer in a bad situation – money paid and no car to show for it.

Checking the CARFAX Vehicle History Report can help potential used car buyers to avoid this unpleasant situation. If the vehicle in question contains a reference to a loan in its history, buyers are made aware. This allows you to open a dialogue with the seller, dealership, and or bank, to ensure there are no open financial issues you need to be worried about. It’s always recommended before buying a car to check the CARFAX Report and verify that if there is a loan reported, it has been fully resolved. When done in advance, this small, simple step can help save you from a big headache later.

A mileage inconsistency occurs when there is a more recent odometer reading that has less mileage than an older odometer reading. This discrepancy could be the result of a rollback or a clerical error. The mileage should be verified by an inspection from a qualified mechanic.

A vehicle with mileage inconsistency is of concern for a number of reasons. It loses economic value because the true mileage is questionable. It is clear that in the used car market, vehicles that have fewer miles sell for higher prices than the same vehicle with more miles. When the true mileage is unknown, the value will be less. A vehicle that was the subject of a mileage rollback also might have other undisclosed problems and may have an increased chance for future, more expensive repairs and have lower road safety.

Consumers can check quickly whether or not a car’s mileage is consistent. Service and maintenance records can be checked to see if they correspond with each other. A CARFAX Vehicle History Report will likewise contain this information.

The number of kilometers displayed on the odometer at a certain time. CARFAX usually reports on the last odometer reading to display the vehicle’s latest mileage.

This term is defined by the manufacturer but it is typically the year the vehicle is built. If the model year does not appear on the CARFAX report, it is because the manufacturer did not include this information in the VIN. Model year can normally be determined by the vehicle age.

When a vehicle is sold to a new owner, the registration must be transferred to the new owner(s) at your local road authorities.

A new owner is reported when each transfer of ownership is documented with the official governmental agency in each of the states in the U.S. This change in ownership is often called a title transfer. The vehicles are identified using the unique 17-character Vehicle Identification Number.  Because every state agency in the U.S. reports this information to CARFAX, each time a new owner is reported, it is included on the CARFAX Vehicle History Report of the used car bought or sold.

For many used car shoppers, the thought is that one must accept the sellers word about the number of previous owners of the vehicle in question. Thankfully, there is a way to verify this information in order to be a better informed shopper. Through the CARFAX Vehicle History Report, consumers can check the ownership history (e.g. number of owners). This information is non-invasive for the previous owners as there is no personal data identifying who the previous owners were. But for the potential buyer, simply knowing the number of previous owners may help define the value of the vehicle. Many used car shoppers search specifically on one-owner cars. This type of vehicle is clearly identified on each CARFAX Vehicle History Report.

For dealers, the CARFAX Vehicle History Report can function as a value adding asset. A dealer who offers free CARFAX Vehicle History Reports to his customers promotes transparency and honesty in the sale of a used car. This leads to building trust and, in some cases, a long lasting relationship with returning customers who may also recommend the dealership to friends and family. With such a CARFAX Vehicle History Report, consumers can see in what year and with what mileage the car changed ownership. 

For those looking to buy a used car, it’s always recommended to do your research before you buy and checking the CARFAX Vehicle History Report is a great way to start.

Vehicles are purchased for use in a variety of different ways. A vehicle designated by CARFAX as “non-private” has been previously used in a manner other than for private/personal use. While it may seem clear what this could mean, CARFAX breaks down the differences in order to better understand this designation.

A vehicle which has received this title could include situations such as: being used commercially, corporately or for governmental purposes. Not all vehicles which have received the “non-private” designation were used as taxis or rentals however. Corporately owned vehicles are also considered to be non-private, even in the case where they were only assigned to a single individual, who treated the vehicle very well. The same can be said for governmental use cases. Despite the possibility of being driven by one person and not a group or whole company of people, the vehicle was still not used solely for personal/private reasons.

When it comes to used car shopping, digging a little bit deeper into a vehicle’s history in order to uncover more facts about the usage is important when considering the purchase of the car. This one small piece of information can have a great effect on the overall value of the vehicle you’re interested in buying.

With the help of the CARFAX Vehicle History Report, a consumer is able to find out how a car was used, in addition to many other important factors that may have an effect on the value of a used car. The CARFAX Report is designed to help buyers discover whether the vehicle they’re looking at is the right used car for them. It’s always recommended to do a lot of research before buying a used car, and the CARFAX Vehicle History report is an excellent resource to help you do just that.

Periodic vehicle inspections are performed around the world in order to ensure a vehicle’s compliance with regulations relating to roadworthiness, CO2 emissions, as well as general safety requirements. The frequency of these vehicle inspections may vary, but generally, they are all checking for the above mentioned things.

Vehicle inspections are performed by official inspection authorities and must be completed in order for the vehicle to be driven legally. The inspection authorities will perform a detailed inspection, including general safety functionality of the vehicle as well as a measurement of the emissions output of the vehicle. The safety component of a vehicle inspection includes items which may be overlooked by owners and can lead to the failure to pass an inspection. Items such as windshield wipers, brakes, light bulbs (headlights, turn signals, brake lights, etc.), parking break, and tires are usually included in the test.

The emissions component of a vehicle inspection is essential to the legal roadworthiness of the vehicle. The European Union regulates the maximum allowed emissions for most vehicle types. This means all vehicles within Europe are required to maintain the same emissions levels, simplifying the process. Additionally, many cities in Europe only allow vehicles with a certain level of emissions to enter without risk of being fined.

For used car shoppers, it is important to know whether or not the vehicle you are interested in buying complies with all regulations. In many cases, this would mean asking the seller / dealer to provide records of previous vehicle inspections. Not all sellers have this information available. This situation is especially compounded in the case of a vehicle with multiple previous owners. The chances of all records being passed on with the vehicle are not always that high. CARFAX seeks to help make this problem much easier to handle for used car shoppers.

The CARFAX Vehicle History Report details the number of inspection records on file. This helps used car buyers check the frequency of vehicle inspections as well as whether the inspection was passed or failed. This information found on the CARFAX Report is invaluable to shoppers to help determine if the vehicle has had problems in the past.

Every vehicle has an odometer that tracks the number of kilometers (or miles) the vehicle has been driven. At different stages in a car’s life, for example during inspections or service maintenances, this mileage or odometer reading is noted down. Service and repair shops do this as one of the ways to verify a vehicle. The odometer reading is also always recorded upon a transfer of title for the vehicle.

Every car carries its unique and personal history, similar to a track-record of its life. The number of odometer readings a vehicle has can then be seen as a set of intervals that are noted on the car’s resume. The CARFAX Vehicle History Report collects this data and displays the consistency of these mileage readings.

It’s always important to check the consistency of the odometer readings, which is made easier when there is a greater number of odometer readings. A vehicle that has no or very few readings may be subject to fraud or indicate that the vehicle was poorly maintained. If considering the purchase of a vehicle with no or few odometer reading, extra precaution should be taken. There could, however, be a logical explanation. For example, this could be explained if a one-owner vehicle with very low mileage is owned by someone who performs his own oil changes and maintenance. But typically, a vehicle with many readings increases the likelihood of correct mileage.

Whenever considering the purchase of a used car, be sure to look into the vehicle history. Ask your dealer or the seller directly about service and maintenance records and check the number of odometer readings. Afterward verify this information with a CARFAX Vehicle History Report. By doing this, you can get a better overview of the vehicle as well as help determine if everything you’ve been told is accurate.

Knowing the number and type of previous owners can be as important as knowing the number of miles the used car was driven.  Many experts indicate that vehicles with fewer owners, who only used the vehicle for private, use are the best to buy. They believe these vehicles are generally better maintained, have less mileage and may require fewer costly repairs in the long run. Keeping this in mind, it conversely leads to the conclusion that cars with multiple ownerships, and those that were used commercially, are less desirable than vehicles which have had fewer owners and were used for personal purposes. Of course, these are generalizations which are not meant to be taken as concrete fact for all situations. There are always exceptions to the norm, but either way, it can still be helpful to know what is most commonly found by experts.

Generally, as a used car shopper, this information may seem very difficult to learn. One can, of course, simply ask the seller. But this doesn’t necessarily mean you will get the whole story. Unless the seller was the first and only owner, many don’t know how many previous owners there were before them. Additionally, because of the reasons given above, it isn’t in a seller’s best interest to disclose a vehicle with multiple owners. Thus, one shouldn’t automatically trust the information you receive from a seller. With CARFAX’s help, this information is easy to learn and can be used to help make a better purchase decision.

CARFAX calculates the number of owners by reviewing the number of registered owners who actually used the vehicle. This includes both personal/private use as well as commercial usage, but typically excludes dealers that purchased the vehicle for resale and did not use the car. Check the full ownership history of a vehicle, including the number of owners, with a CARFAX Vehicle History Report.

A lot can happen to a car over its lifetime – good and bad. One difficult part of shopping for used cars is uncovering this history of things which have happened. Also, not all things that occur over a vehicle’s lifetime can be classified as “good” or “bad,” per say. Neutral events such as date of purchase, vehicle registration, change of ownership, location data, etc. are equally relevant when researching a vehicle’s history.

These pieces of information comprise what CARFAX calls a record. A CARFAX record refers to a specific incidence and date in the history of the vehicle. There isn’t necessarily a positive or negative association with the information, but in many cases the used car shopper can make some assumptions in one or the other direction.

There are many different kinds of records that one may find on a CARFAX Vehicle History Report. One type of information which is found on every CARFAX Report is related to ownership. This includes records such as: the year purchased, number of owners, type of ownership, registration date and location, mileage, etc.

Other types of records include accidents, other forms of damage (fire, flood, hail, etc.), airbag deployment, title problems, open manufacturer’s recalls, mileage rollbacks, and many more.

Records found on the CARFAX Vehicle History Report come from a multitude of trusted sources, including transportation offices, insurance companies, law enforcement agencies, repair and service shops, and more. CARFAX’s record database has over 14 billion records and is always growing.

When looking at a CARFAX Report, you are given a clear overview of the number of records on file for that particular vehicle. Please keep in mind that the history of younger vehicles tends to have fewer entries. CARFAX continuously works on getting more data sources and historical information in order to enrich the report. 

Mileage is one of the key factors when determining the “age” of a vehicle. A vehicle which was built only a few years ago, but has an extraordinarily high mileage, also carries a higher age. This is because mileage can generally add strain and stress to the vehicle’s engine.

The odometer reading is the number of kilometers displayed on the odometer. Assuming that the odometer has not been manipulated, this will indicate the actual number of kilometers driven by that vehicle. The odometer reading is recorded many times during the life of a car, including when it is bought and sold, when it is inspected and when it has maintenance and repairs performed. Consumers can therefore check at different points in time what the odometer reading was. Normally, a higher odometer reading of a vehicle means a lower price, with the exception of antique or collector cars. Therefore, it is important for consumers to check whether the odometer reading of a car is correct and consistent over its time.

Odometer readings are an integral part of the CARFAX Vehicle History Report. A consistent increase in kilometers over time is normal. If a car has a higher odometer reading at an earlier point in time than it does today, it can mean that the car was subject to odometer fraud. In this case, consumers lose significant portions of money as the value of the vehicle decreases greatly.

It is also important to remember that with U.S. imports, the odometer could display miles instead of kilometers. Alternatively, the miles driven in the U.S. may have been converted to kilometers when the vehicle was imported to Europe. On top of checking the CARFAX Report for the reported mileage over the vehicle’s lifetime, to assure mileage accuracy, be sure to check with a licensed mechanic. 

A one-owner car is a vehicle that has had only one previous registered owner that actually used the car for their personal use. These cars are in high demand and command premium prices because many people believe that a single ownership is desirable and that the car has been better taken care of than vehicles that have had multiple ownerships or that were used commercially.

Dealers that purchase a vehicle for resale and do not use the car are typically not counted in the ownership history.  Likewise, if a vehicle has had only one owner, but was used commercially, this is not labeled a “one-owner car,” even though it has technically had only one registered ownership.  As a result, many used car shoppers target and are willing to pay more for vehicles identified on CARFAX Vehicle History Reports as one-owner cars.  

One of the aspects of a vehicle’s history is the number of people who have owned it over its lifetime. This piece of information is often relevant to used car shoppers in determining the value of a vehicle. There are many who prefer to buy 1-owner vehicles, because they are often thought of as the best maintained vehicles on the market. While there are always exceptions to the rule, used car shoppers searching for 1-owner cars can generally have a little more ease of mind knowing only one other person has owned the vehicle.

This information is often considered to be difficult to learn, which leaves many shoppers simply trusting the seller’s word about how many people have owned it in the past. With the help of the CARFAX Vehicle History Report, used car buyers can verify the ownership history of a vehicle and get a better understanding of its past.

CARFAX defines an owner as an individual or business that possesses and uses a vehicle. Not all registration transactions represent changes in ownership. To provide estimated number of owners, CARFAX proprietary technology analyzes all the events in a vehicle's history. One example of an event which could affect the ownership history is the deregistration of the vehicle and its subsequent reregistration, sometimes in a new city or country. Dealers sometimes opt to take ownership of a vehicle, as well. Please consider this as you review a vehicle's estimated ownership history.

Before buying a used car, it’s always recommended to do research and make sure you’re well informed about the vehicle’s history. The CARFAX Report is an incredibly valuable resource which provides a lot of helpful information about a vehicle, including general technical specifications as well as historical records. Checking the CARFAX Vehicle History Report can help used car shoppers make better informed purchase decisions.

“Private vehicle” is a designation given to a car that is registered for personal use. Vehicles that are sold by private sellers and dealers are often such vehicles. However, research into the history of a used car might uncover that it was previously used as a commercial vehicle. Such a vehicle could have even been used as a rental car or taxi.

It is important for used car buyers to know whether a vehicle was in private or commercial use as it may affect the value and safety of the vehicle.  Typically vehicles with fewer owners are preferred to cars that have had multiple owners, but that may not be the case depending on the type of use in the vehicle’s history. A used car with only one owner may not be so attractive if that single owner had used the vehicle as a taxi. In that case, a different vehicle with three owners who had all used the vehicle for their personal use might be preferable. CARFAX therefore always recommends that used car shoppers inquire at the dealer or from the seller how the vehicle had been previously used. This information should then be verified with a CARFAX Vehicle History Report. 

The Problem Check section on each CARFAX European Vehicle History Reports provides a convenient snapshot of the information that CARFAX has abstracted from its extensive database, which contains over 14 billion records, and is constantly growing larger. The Problem Check summarizes information contained in the history section of the CARFAX Vehicle History Report and indicates whether a vehicle has been reported stolen, reported scrapped, privately imported or ever used for non-personal purposes. This summary is based upon all the information supplied to CARFAX from various sources, which include governmental offices, law enforcement agencies, car dealerships, insurance companies, service and repair shops, as well as many others

Every year, there are cars that seem like a bargain, but that end up being nightmares with many hidden problems. Some of those problems might have been identified on a CARFAX Vehicle History Report. Consumers can find out about hidden information that the seller fails to disclose, but that is of immense importance prior to purchase. Consumers that wish to sell a used car should also realize the value of providing a CARFAX Vehicle History Report to demonstrate that a vehicle has a proven ‘clean’ history and is without any prior documented problems. This may result in being able to command a higher price for the vehicle. Trust is an important element when it comes to buying and selling used cars.

There are always risks in the purchase of a used car. If it seems too good to be true, there may be some negative history which could lead to bigger problems in the future. CARFAX helps consumers detect and minimize that risk. It’s always recommended to do thorough research on a vehicle before you buy it. The CARFAX Vehicle History Report is packed with useful information, making it a great place to start.

A rental vehicle is a car that currently is, or was in the past, registered by a car rental agency. Many vehicles on European roads, particularly US imports, have been used as rental cars, after which they were sold to private car owners and/or exported to Europe. Many times, this type of information is not disclosed to the buyer before the purchase is completed. CARFAX therefore always recommends that used car shoppers inquire as to the type of vehicle use from the seller and verify the information with a CARFAX Vehicle History Report.

The CARFAX Vehicle History Report discloses important events in the car’s history, including many car features and how the car was previously used. A vehicle that was or is being used as a rental car may have more mileage than a car of similar age that was used solely for private use. Some consider the fact that rental cars have had multiple drivers that may have driven the vehicle roughly to be a drawback. These cars may be more prone to problems and require more expensive repairs. Conversely, these vehicles are often well-maintained and receive the regularly recommended servicing. Regardless of whether a consumer considers the fact that a used car was previously used as a rental vehicle to be a positive or negative feature, it is an important part of the car’s history that should be taken into consideration before buying it. Having been previously used as a rental car may also have an impact of a subsequent resale of the vehicle.

This is a certificate issued in the United States on a vehicle that was damaged to the extent that the cost of repairing the vehicle exceeded 75% of its pre-damage value, although this damage threshold may vary by individual state. Most states use this title to indicate that a vehicle is not roadworthy and cannot be titled in that state again, and may result in the vehicle being scrapped. The following eleven states also use Salvage titles to identify stolen vehicles - AZ, FL, GA, IL, MD, MN, NJ, NM, NY, OK and OR.

A vehicle that has been reported to have been dismantled and/or crushed and taken to the scrap yard.

CARFAX has an extensive database of service records, including oil changes and other routine maintenance procedures, which have been collected from tens of thousands of sources in each and every single state throughout the United States. Sources include transportation authorities, law enforcement agencies, insurance companies, as well as service and repair shops.

It is important for used car shoppers to consider service records when thinking of buying a vehicle as they are a part of the overall maintenance and state of the vehicle. Additionally, they can greatly affect the value of a used car. Things such as regular oil, fluid replacement, tire and brake services are not only required for maintaining a vehicle for official inspection purposes, but are also significantly connected to the increase of road safety.

The CARFAX Vehicle History Report clearly details the number of service records available for a particular vehicle. Additionally, the date, location and, in some cases, the type of service is listed to help give potential buyers a clearer picture of the vehicle’s past. A vehicle which has many service records is not necessarily a bad sign. Service records can also be an indicator of proper and responsible maintenance by the previous owners.

Although, in cases where a specific body part of a vehicle was repaired more than once, it is important to ask the dealer or seller why. This may be a sign of larger hidden problems, such as accident history or a lemon status. Service records can disclose a lot of information if they are used correctly.

CARFAX recommends that all used car shoppers ask the seller / dealer for service and maintenance records. If they are available, these can confirm and supplement the information which is available on the CARFAX Vehicle History Report. Reviewing this information before buying a vehicle can potentially save you from future problems with the vehicle.

Vehicle theft is an unfortunate, but common problem around the globe. Often times, these vehicles find their ways into different countries, where thieves believe it’s easier to mask the fact that the vehicle was stolen. Stolen vehicles from America are even found driving on European roads. In fact, this trend seems to be rising over the last several years. Regardless of where a vehicle has been stolen, be it from within or outside of Europe, the risk of buying one exists. The potential of legal problems for the buyer is one major reason to avoid buying a stolen vehicle. On top of this, if less stolen cars are bought, it sends a message to thieves that selling stolen cars is not as lucrative a business as they may have thought, which could eventually lower the number of stolen vehicles.

The best way to learn a vehicle’s history before you buy is by checking the CARFAX Vehicle History Report. Used car shoppers will find lots of useful information about a vehicle’s past on the CARFAX Report. Included, is CARFAX’s stolen vehicle check, which lets shoppers know if the vehicle has been reported stolen or missing to a government agency or the police at any point in over its lifetime, as well as when and where. On top of this, the CARFAX Report lets used car buyers know if a stolen car has been recovered and therefor no longer registered as stolen.

Finding out a vehicle’s history, especially whether it has been stolen or not, can help save you trouble down the road when shopping for used cars. It is very important to verify the status of a stolen vehicle with the proper authorities before purchase to protect yourself. Avoid buying stolen cars by checking the CARFAX Vehicle History Report before you buy.

There are hundreds of thousands of taxis and other livery vehicles on the roads in Europe. What this means for used car shoppers is that the chances of coming across one in your search for a vehicle is relatively high. Since the vehicles themselves are the essential element of a taxi driver’s business, along with the tax deductions they receive for business expenses, they often upgrade to newer cars whenever they can. This allows the taxi driver to provide the most comfortable experience for their passengers. What this also means is that the older vehicles are often sold.

Often times, if a vehicle has ever been used as a rental car or taxi, it has a lower value. These cars can be found all over in the used car marketplace. The reason for the lower value can possibly be attributed to higher mileage, which is common among these types of vehicles. Additionally, these vehicles are typically driven harder than private-use vehicles. Not to mention the potential for damage on the inside of the vehicle from the high influx of passengers, luggage, and even from the removal of computer equipment.

When buying a used car, it’s difficult to know how it was used in the past. CARFAX makes finding out this information much easier. The CARFAX Vehicle History Report checks the vehicle’s records for any usage as a taxi. When found, potential buyers will see that the vehicle was registered as a taxi or "for hire" vehicle. This piece of information, along with all of the useful data found on the CARFAX Report, can help save shoppers time and energy. It’s always recommended to learn as much about a vehicle before buying it, and the CARFAX Vehicle History Report is a great resource to help used car shoppers do just that.

A vehicle is considered a total loss by an insurance company or a fleet company if it was damaged in such a severe manner that the cost of repairing it is not considered economically worthwhile.  The exact amount of damage required to declare a vehicle a total loss can vary. In many cases, the rule is that if the cost to repair or the loss in value exceeds 75% of its pre-damage value, it is declared a total loss. Different states have different damage thresholds. An insurance or fleet company may also declare a car that is stolen and not recovered a total loss.

It is important to keep in mind that a vehicle declared a total loss by an insurance company may not be worthless.  These are often properly issued a branded title by a state motor vehicle agency. In some states this is called a “salvage title.” In other states, it is actually branded a “total loss vehicle.”  In some cases, these vehicles which were declared a total loss and issued a branded title can be rebuilt, sold and returned to the roadways if they pass mandatory safety inspections.

Researching the complete history of a vehicle is important as it can greatly affect the value of a used car. Knowing if a vehicle was declared a total loss must be taken into consideration when deciding whether or not to purchase a used car. The CARFAX Vehicle History Report is an extremely useful resource for used car shoppers. Checking the CARFAX may help identify if a car was ever declared a total loss. Learning this information and much more about the vehicle’s history can help save a consumer from unknowingly purchasing a used vehicle that was been previously severely damaged. It’s recommended to always find out about a vehicle’s history before buying, and checking the CARFAX can help.

There are thousands of vehicles on European roads which have a history in the United States. Some are imported for use by people moving from the country. Others are purchased and imported by people already living in Europe. Regardless of how they arrived, there are many American cars in the used car marketplace.

The CARFAX Vehicle History Report contains records which document the known events in a vehicle’s history while registered in North America. When a car is exported from the United States or Canada, the information about what has happened to that car while in North America is not always transferred with the vehicle. More importantly, it is very often the case that this information affects the value of the vehicle. Therefore, it is critical that used car shoppers carefully research the history of a vehicle before buying it. Especially in the case when it was exported from the United States or Canada. 

CARFAX has determined that as much as 60% of all cars that were exported from the U.S. to Europe contain negative events in the vehicle’s history. These can include such things as whether a vehicle was in an accident, has a salvage title, was stolen, was scrapped, was declared a total loss by an insurance company, was damaged in a flood or is subject to a recall.

In order to help make it easier for used car shoppers, CARFAX Europe provides its customers with CARFAX Vehicle History Reports which contain the vehicle history of every car that was exported from the United States and Canada to Europe. CARFAX recommends that no car which has been imported from North America be purchased without researching its U.S. history. This can help you make a better purchase decision and save you from buying a vehicle with a negative history.

 

When shopping for a used car, one of the first things many people do is look at how old the car is. Understanding how to best define vehicle age can help used car shoppers make better purchase decisions.

Contrary to what may seem as logical, vehicle age refers to the actual usage of the vehicle and not necessarily the year the vehicle was built. What this means, is that vehicle age is calculated starting from the time the vehicle was first registered and not its manufacturing date. Take for example a vehicle built in December of 2012 and was not sold and registered until May of 2013. The vehicle was not technically “aging” as it sat in the dealership parking lot. To understand why this is the case, it is important to know that the vehicle’s model year is only one part of the whole story when it comes to defining a vehicle’s age.

In addition to taking into account the model year, used car shoppers must look at a number of other factors. One of the most important elements in defining vehicle age is actually related to the mileage on the vehicle. Excessive mileage adds to a vehicle’s overall age due to the stresses put on the vehicle’s numerous parts and components. Another element which can be of interest to a potential buyer is exactly how the vehicle was used. For example, if a vehicle was used for business purposes (e.g. taxi, rental car, delivery vehicle, etc.), chances are that the vehicle had a more strenuous usage than a private vehicle. While this is not always true, generally speaking, used car buyers are wary of vehicles with business usage.

Finding out this information is made simple with the help of the CARFAX Vehicle History Report. The CARFAX Report provides used car shoppers with a wide array of useful information, including model year and actual mileage compared to average mileage for that vehicle type. This information helps potential buyers learn about a vehicle’s age and much more. 

Used cars often have a negative history. A history of that might include mileage rollback, car theft, salvage titles or scrapping that any consumer would prefer to avoid at all cost. In case of such a history, consumers often lose significant amounts of money due to expensive reparations and inspections, not to mention the over-pay on the vehicle and overestimation of the residual value. The Vehicle History is a term coined by CARFAX to describe the fact that every vehicle on this planet has its own and unique experience and history, similar to a CV or Resume. What many consumers don’t know, however, is that this history is open and obtainable through a CARFAX Vehicle History Report.

CARFAX Vehicle Reports are unique comprehensive reports that are based on all information that is available or delivered to a particular car. By checking the Vehicle History, consumers are not only able to protect themselves from awful investments, but can also save significant amounts of time by only scheduling visits for cars with a solid and trustworthy history.

What is exactly included in the Vehicle History? This partially depends on the type of life the vehicle had. CARFAX, however, collects information about reparations based on service and inspection records. These may include scratches, interior or exterior damage that was repaired, non-functioning body parts that were recorded by auto repair shops. Further, consumers can find out whether a car was scrapped, imported or exported, stolen, repaired or regularly inspected, had an excessive amount of owners, performed mileage rollback or shows any other signs of mileage inconsistency.

CARFAX is the world’s largest and most trusted provider of Vehicle History Reports and works together with international ministries, government officials, insurances and private dealers.  In order to make the Vehicle History Reports thorough and complete, CARFAX works closely together with independent dealers who can increase their own transparency towards consumers, but also with insurance companies that allow CARFAX to provide consumers with previously unexplored information regarding a used vehicle.

So how do we do it exactly? Every vehicle in the automotive industry has a unique VIN (Vehicle Identification Number). All basic events that the car experiences throughout its lifecycle are recorded to its specific and unique VIN. 

The vehicle tax is the amount of tax that is paid annually to the taxing authority for a particular vehicle. The amount of tax owed is set by a schedule in each country and will vary from vehicle to vehicle. The tax rate is of importance to consumers as it can be a significant factor in the overall annual cost to own and operate a vehicle.  Knowing the amount of vehicle tax one must pay is an important piece of information and is sometimes overlooked by used car buyers when considering the purchase of a used car. This helpful information is often available in a CARFAX Vehicle History Report.

The vehicle tax rate is usually based on the engine size, which type of fuel it uses (e.g. petrol or diesel), CO2 emissions and the vehicle’s first registration date. The tax rate on a vehicle with an earlier date of registration, for example before 2001, may be calculated based on engine size and the type of fuel it uses, whereas a contemporary vehicle typically needs to adapt to the latest standards in terms of CO2 emissions. While this is the most common way vehicle tax is calculated, there are additional methods of calculation depending on the country in which you’re living.

CARFAX helps you find the information you need to check your own vehicle tax. If the CARFAX Vehicle History Report does not already contain the vehicle tax information, it will provide you with the information necessary to determine the vehicle tax in your country, including the make, model, vehicle year, and other data. This data can then be cross-referenced with the local schedules put in place the transportation authorities in your country. The CARFAX Report is designed to help buyers make the most informed decisions possible when it comes to buying a used car, including things often overlooked – like vehicle tax.

The vehicle year is one of the first points many used car shoppers look at when doing research to buy a car. Vehicle year is defined by a local Road Administration and indicates the age of the vehicle. Note, however, that the vehicle year and model year might not coincide. This might be due to different times of production and registration.

The vehicle year may say much about an automobile’s age, but may not tell the whole story. There is a lot more to determining the age of a vehicle than simply looking at the vehicle year. Two cars with the same vehicle year can have very different histories and be in very different conditions. For example, the number of miles driven, the way the vehicle was stored (e.g., in a garage vs. outside in the elements), the type of usage (e.g., as a taxi or for personal use) can all affect the value of two cars of identical make and model with the same vehicle year. It’s important to keep this in mind when looking for used cars. The vehicle year is just one part of a much larger picture.

The CARFAX Vehicle History Report discloses the important available information about a vehicle, in addition to its vehicle year, which makes it possible for consumers to perform a meaningful comparison of different vehicles with the same vehicle year. Information such as ownership records, average mileage for this vehicle type in comparison to actual mileage for the vehicle, accident history, maintenance and service records, and much more are included in the CARFAX Report to help give used car buyers a more complete picture of the vehicle’s past. This in turn helps make shoppers better informed and thus make better purchase decisions. It’s always recommended to check the CARFAX before buying a car.

A ‘’VIN Check’’ is basically a background check for used vehicles in the automotive industry. But what is a VIN? VIN stands for Vehicle Identification Number and is the unique serial number for every vehicle on the road since 1981. The VIN is used to describe the unique facts and details of a vehicle such as color, make, date of registration etc... By a concept called VIN Decoding, consumers are able to uncover large amounts of information regarding the vehicle of their interest. Even when the car has entered the roads, the VIN can still be of exceptional use. The VIN is normally recorded during inspections and reparations and is therefore obtainable through service and inspection records. Whenever a vehicle was involved in an accident, performed odometer rollback, got scrapped, was issued a salvage title, was stolen, imported or exported, or, simply sold - it is recorded to the unique VIN of the vehicle. Consequently, the VIN is of great importance to insurance companies, ministries, governmental police forces and individual customers of used vehicles. Insurance companies may not insure a car that was a total loss; police forces may claim a car that was reported stolen; and consumers will most likely avoid a car that performed odometer rollback.

Consumers can now take a peek into the history and life track of a vehicle by Vehicle History Reports. The background check for used vehicles is similar to the Curriculum Vitae of a vehicle. The only thing you need is the VIN of the vehicle of your interest. The service and inspection records based on the car’s VIN are available through CARFAX Europe. CARFAX currently offers Vehicle History Reports for Sweden, Spain, Norway and Slovenia with more European countries to follow in the near future.

CARFAX collects all information regarding the vehicle and summarizes it in a comprehensive and unique report that is different for every car. A VIN check is therefore similar to an identity check. If you want to check the VIN of your car, or of the one that you plan to buy, we recommend you to purchase or request a CARFAX Vehicle History Report. These contain all records that were reported to CARFAX regarding the vehicle. CARFAX is the world’s largest provider of Used Vehicle Reports and works together with official governmental organizations to increase customer safety and vehicle transparency.
 

The vehicle identification number, also called VIN, or VIN number, is a unique coded serial number that is used to identify any vehicle in the automotive industry. The number can be seen as the fingerprint of the vehicle, as there is no other vehicle on the road with the same VIN number. By some decoding services and barcode scanners, consumers and official agencies are able to decode the VIN in whole or part and so obtain more information about the car. Service shops for example, use the VIN to identify the engine, transmission and brake systems, so that they can be properly maintained. Governmental agencies often use the VIN number to recover stolen vehicles.


The VIN consists out of a few key components. First is the World Manufacturer Identifier, also shortened to WMI, which identifies the manufacturer of the vehicle. Through a regulated system created by the Society of Automotive Engineers; countries and manufacturers are assigned a certain code that they then enter into the VIN number. Second is the Vehicle Descriptor Sector, also shortened to VDS. The VDS identifies the vehicle type, model and body style. Each manufacturer, however, orders and organizes the VDS in a different way. The third key component is the Vehicle identification sector, also shortened to VIS. The manufacturer can so identify the specific vehicle through unique information such as extra extensions, options installed and transmissions.

It is noteworthy that all vehicle inspection checks, reparations, imports or exports and more are added to a VIN’s history, which you could compare to a track record. If you decode the VIN, you are able to find out about the standard vehicle information. However, since major or and minor events are recorded to the historic track of the VIN, you can find out even more about the vehicle! 

Vehicle theft is a common problem around the world. There are several things which a vehicle owner can do to help reduce the risk of their car being stolen. Not all are effective by themselves, but when done in combination, they can greatly decrease a thief’s motivation to steal your car.

One such method is called window etching, otherwise known as VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) etching. It is a method used to help deter thieves from attempting to steal a vehicle by engraving the VIN directly onto the windshield glass. This is accomplished using a stencil and an acid etching paste. Today, most vehicles standardly have the VIN engraved on different body parts, which makes it much more difficult for thieves to trade or sell stolen goods. This is because there is a little chance that official or recognized dealers will purchase body parts with different VIN’s.

Also, VIN etching can be advantageous for car owners. It may not optimize the aesthetic look of the vehicle, but the chance that the police recover the vehicle is generally much higher as there are more points of recognition. Therefore, many governmental agencies such as the police recommend VIN etching. Likewise, insurance companies recommend window etching so that the vehicle may be found or recovered at a later stage and may even offer rate reductions on vehicles that have etched windows.

The CARFAX Vehicle History Report includes records related to the theft of a vehicle, and/or the recovery of a stolen vehicle. This information is clearly presented to potential buyers, often with detailed date and location data as well. With this information, as well as many more types of records, CARFAX seeks to help used car shoppers make better purchase decisions. It’s always recommended to check the CARFAX before buying a used car.