CARFAX Europe Glossary - Explanation of Terminology Used

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Non-private use

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.


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.

Problem Check

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.

Number of inspection records

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.

Number of records

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.

Service records

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.

Insurance Claim

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.

Window Etching

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.

US History

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.

CO2 rating

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.