All used auto sales should include a detailed vehicle history report, but do you know how to read one when you get it?
AutoCheck reports have become one of the most popular options for reports on used cars thanks to their ability to effectively track even the most elusive auction cars.
Visit your dealership’s website to find out if they have AutoCheck reports readily available. On DriveTime’s website, you’ll discover easy access to an AutoCheck report for every single car. For instance, a listing for a 2007 Audi A4 Quattro brings up this report. Take a minute to examine this report, and then we’ll walk through the details that are included.
Right away, you’ll find that all of the basic information about the car is readily accessible. In this case, you can immediately see that this car is six years old, has already had two owners, and is in the “Upscale – Near Luxury” class. Now, none of this information may seem surprising to you, but this is your chance to familiarize yourself with the basic facts about this car. Plus, it’s important to make sure that all of these facts line up with the car that you’re considering buying!
The top section of the report also includes a handy summary of the different sections of the report. You can already see that this Audi has in fact been in one accident, but there are no reported issues with the odometer or title.
The AutoCheck Score
The AutoCheck Score can be one of the most confusing elements of the report since it is not explicitly explained on the actual report. Essentially, this is an overall score based on a scale of 1 to 100. The score takes into account a wide variety of factors, such as age, mileage, the number of previous owners, the vehicle class, and accidents. In the case of the Audi, a score of 91 (out of 100) reflects the fact that the car is in great condition.
Comparison vehicle score is enormously useful in determining whether or not the vehicle rating is a positive thing or not. In many cases, you may think that a certain vehicle has a low score, but if the comparison score is even lower, that vehicle is actually performing better than similar options.
As you scroll through the rest of the report, you should be looking for lots of green check marks. The blue “i” indicates that a report of some sort has been filed, which is usually a warning that there could be a problem. Of course, in many cases, these reports are mostly for your own information. For example, the report on the Audi informs you that the vehicle has some history of being used as a part of fleet or leasing business.
In the case of this report, there aren’t many problems to worry about. However, many reports from used auto sales will alert you to a variety of issues, including water or fire damage, odometer problems, or the use of recycled parts.
The bottom line is that this AutoCheck report allows you to be forewarned of any problem areas so that you can make an informed decision about specific used auto sales. This is your chance to make sure your potential new car is going to be reliable and safe!
Do you always pull a CarFax or AutoCheck report before you buy a vehicle?