The 5 best Carfax alternatives to check a used car’s history

Jason Breton

The first thing to do when shopping for a car is to check its history. This is particularly important when purchasing a used car. A vehicle’s history will give you crucial information about its performance and ownership and significantly help in valuation.

One way to establish a car’s history is through Carfax. This is a popular vehicle history reporting service. However, being an industry leader, this service offers higher rates than its competitors. 

The silver lining with vehicle history reporting services is that the data, when accurate, will always be the same. When looking to save costs, finding a cheaper alternative to Carfax might be handy. 

Here are five of the best alternatives to Carfax:


This service is similar to Carfax but way cheaper. AutoCheck affords its users different payment plans. A single report can be purchased for $24.99.  

AutoCheck can also be used to obtain a free car history report. A free report will only show you the vehicle’s model, engine, and country of origin details. For $49.99, the service lets you search the data of up to 15 vehicles. The two payment plans are one-time fees and attract no recurring charges. 

The search feature on AutoCheck is simple to use. You can search using a vehicle identification number (VIN) or the license plates. 

AutoCheck also has a mobile application for iOS and Android users. This makes it quite easy to access the reports.  Scan the VIN, and the app creates an AutoCheck score. The score will show you the risks of any vehicle and minimize any risks during purchase. 

Additionally, the service offers a buy-back option for select registered and qualified vehicles. AutoCheck also suggests vehicles with a similar score to your search results. Check out the AutoCheck service for more information.

mechanic examining a car
Image: Peoplecreations

2. Detailed Vehicle History

Buying a used car shouldn’t be complicated, especially if using Detailed Vehicle History.

This app is one of the best Carfax alternatives for a good reason. It provides more detailed information than many other VIN check service providers. It is also price-friendly -a detailed report will only cost you $15.

With this Detailed vehicle history provider, you’ll get to know a used car’s mileage history, market value, previous owner(s), sales record, title checks, and even loan records.

Since reliability is critical when shopping for a pre-owned car, Detailed Vehicle History will also show you the vehicle’s accident history and recalls. You can check recalls for all types of vehicles from American, Canadian, European, and Japanese manufacturers.

You can also perform a window sticker lookup to know crucial information, such as the safety rating of the vehicle and its features. This includes both standard and optional features.

Impressively, the app lets you instantly know some of the concerns buyers have when shopping for used cars. They include:

  • Whether the vehicle is stolen
  • If the color has been changed
  • If the odometer has been reversed
  • Whether the vehicle is unroadworthy

Not only will you get this information instantly, but you also save yourself from losses, costly repairs, and damages that could’ve arisen from driving an unsafe vehicle.

Getting a reliable used car is simple.  Just download the app, install it on your Android device, then enter the VIN and license plates of the vehicle to check all its history reports.


This is one of the best free alternatives to Carfax. does not require registration or subscription.

After each search, you receive a vehicle history report coupled with impounds and towing events. The website also provides a free vehicle theft check. 

Buyers who prefer to self-inspect their vehicles will find the service handy. This is because will deliver an inspection list for self-inspection.

Users also get a free license plate lookup and can view a list of the best-selling cars in their categories.

4. AutoFax

AutoFax comes in cheaper than Carfax as well as AutoCheck.  A detailed report will only cost you $8.99.

The report will primarily feature the title of the car, its past owners, odometer records, accident history, and flood damage.

Interestingly, you get a refund when your search doesn’t yield your car’s history. 

There is a mobile app available for download on the App Store. The app can help you get free vehicle history reports when you earn enough referral points.

Inspection scores are also available alongside free sample reports. Visit AutoFax here.

5. doubles up as one of the best alternatives to Carfax. The website generates vehicle reports at $9.95 per report.

Information from this service comes from the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System. A search requires only the Vehicle Identification Number, and you are all set. 

Unlike Carfax, is only web-based, with no mobile apps available at the moment.

The system ultimately protects buyers from purchasing vehicles recorded as salvaged or total losses elsewhere. Check out

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