There are two major companies that offer vehicle history reports. This week, both of those companies independently unveiled smart phone apps. Makers of Carfax and AutoCheck reports made the applications available to car dealers so they can access a vehicle’s history anytime, and from almost anywhere.
Readers of this website know that I'm a big believer in checking a vehicle’s history prior to purchasing any used car, truck, or SUV. Not doing so is one of the mistakes I list in my free report, The 8 Biggest Mistakes Used Car Buyers Make and How to Avoid Them, available here.
A Vehicle’s History
Why is a vehicle history report so important? It tells potential buyers of past problems, including reported accidents, odometer issues, frame damage, flood damage, or if it has a salvage title. The reports are a mainstay for dealers who don’t want to get stuck with a lemon any more than a private buyer or seller. Also, some major dealers make it a practice not to sell vehicles that have been in an accident. A used car manager who purchases a vehicle without checking its history should probably be thinking of a new career—they are that important.
Private buyers—most of whom only buy a handful of vehicles in a lifetime—can’t always catch tell-tale signs of flood damage, body work, or odometer tampering. So it’s crucial for private sellers to protect themselves by always checking a vehicle’s history report.
Carfax has come out with its new app, entitled Carfax for Dealers. Experian’s new app is called AutoCheck Mobile for Business. These rival companies offer similar features. Both allow dealers to access a vehicle’s history report after entering it's 17-digit vehicle identification number (VIN). Users can also scan the vehicle’s barcode by using their smartphone’s camera. This is particularly useful when a dealer is at a wholesale auction or buying cars in the field.
AutoCheck’s app is available for iPhones and Android mobile devices. An app for Blackberry devices will be made available in the future. The current Carfax app can downloaded on iPhones and other Apple devices, including the iPad. A Carfax app for Android devices will be released soon, with one for Blackberry devices released later. There is no charge for either app.