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

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, 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 high rates compared to 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, it might be handy to find a cheaper alternative to Carfax. 

Here are five of the best alternatives to Carfax:

1.AutoCheck

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. VINCheck.info

This is one of the best free alternatives to Carfax. VINCheck.info does not require registration or subscription. You receive a vehicle history report coupled with impounds and towing events after each search. 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 VINCheck.info 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.

3. 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.

4. Titlecheck.us

Titlecheck.us doubles up as a direct competitor 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, titlecheck.us 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 titlecheck.us.

5. Vinsmart 

Finally, Vinsmart is another car history service that is accessible on PCs as well as smartphones. This site gets its information from the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System. 

The price for a search on Vinsmart is $8.95. A few additional benefits of using this service include free recall alerts, non-expiry credits, and discounts on large volume purchases. Visit vinsmart.com to try out this service.

Generally, all these services work in a similar way. The main similarity between these alternatives and Carfax is that you only need the Vehicle Identification Number or license plate to perform a search. Each service will offer a few unique tweaks to make the experience better.

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