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Carfax vs autocheck review

Carfax Vs. AutoCheck

When you’re in the market for a used car, it’s crucial to arm yourself with as much information as possible. That’s where Carfax and AutoCheck are supposed to come in, but how well do they?

These two services claim to provide detailed vehicle history reports so that you can avoid cars with hidden issues. But how do they stack up against each other? Let’s dive in!

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Key Differences: Autocheck Vs Carfax

Sample Autocheck Report:

Click here for a complete Sample Autocheck report.

Sample Carfax Report:

Click here for a complete Sample Carfax Report.

Differences Summary

While AutoCheck and Carfax both provide vehicle history reports, there are some prominent differences between the providers:

  • Cost: AutoCheck reports are generally more affordable than Carfax reports across single reports and subscription packages.
  • Data Depth: Carfax pulls from over 100,000 sources to compile comprehensive reports with more details on repairs, maintenance, and severity assessments.
  • Auction Tracking: AutoCheck has exclusive auction data from the two largest U.S. companies. It better tracks cars sold on the wholesale market.
  • Scoring System: Only AutoCheck assigns a rating score that allows quick comparison between vehicles based on their histories.
  • Maintenance Info: Carfax includes maintenance records in reports, which AutoCheck lacks. This provides insight into routine servicing and potential issues.

Keep these key differences in data sources, breadth of records, pricing tiers and other aspects in mind when determining if AutoCheck or Carfax reports best fit your budget and information needs.

When Should I Get a Vehicle History Report?

A vehicle history report can provide valuable insights when buying a used car, especially from a private party seller.

Reports help uncover issues in a vehicle’s past that could affect its value and reliability. Key times when you’ll want a report:

  • Buying a used car from a private seller – Reports may reveal problems you weren’t aware of
  • Selling your car to a private party – Providing a report builds trust and makes the car easier to sell
  • Narrowed your used car search – Use reports to compare finalists and make an informed decision

Many dealerships and car listing sites offer free Carfax or AutoCheck reports. But if buying privately, you’ll likely have to purchase your own.

What are Carfax and AutoCheck?

Carfax and AutoCheck are like detectives for your car. They dig into a vehicle’s past and provide you with a detailed report that includes information like ownership history, accident history, title issues, and mileage.

See Also: Four Major Problems With The Carfax Buyback Guarantee

AutoCheck: The Lowdown

AutoCheck, which Experian owns, gives you a vehicle’s history and provides an “AutoCheck Score” – a rating system that allows you to compare different vehicles based on their history.


  • AutoCheck Score: This score, ranging between 70 and 90, gives you a quick snapshot of a vehicle’s history.
  • Auction Tracking: AutoCheck excels at tracking cars sold at auctions, a feature where Carfax falls short.
  • Cost: AutoCheck reports are generally cheaper than Carfax reports.


  • No Maintenance Records: Unlike Carfax, AutoCheck does not include maintenance records in its reports.
  • Less Comprehensive: AutoCheck reports may not be as detailed as Carfax reports.
  • Brand Recognition: AutoCheck is not as well-known as Carfax.

How AutoCheck Compares for Auction Cars

A key advantage AutoCheck offers over Carfax is more effective tracking of auction vehicles:

  • Has exclusive data from two largest U.S. auctions
  • Captures more cars bought and sold at wholesale auctions
  • Important for dealers buying used inventory at auction

So while Carfax has a larger overall database, AutoCheck vehicle history reports hold the edge specifically for tracking auction cars and wholesale transactions.

Saving on AutoCheck Reports: Autocheck Coupons

While cheaper than Carfax, you can save extra on AutoCheck using promo codes and discounts when available. Sites to check include:

  • Knoji: Currently has active 20% off code
  • Extrabux: Lists recent single-use promo codes for free VIN checks
  • CouponChief: Additional AutoCheck code examples

However, many codes are one-time use or expire quickly when claimed. Check sites periodically for latest working AutoCheck discounts and seasonal sales. Can’t stack codes but can use multiple over time to save on multi-vehicle checks. Read fine print carefully on validity dates and what reports qualify before claiming.

Carfax: The Inside Scoop

Carfax is a web-based service that provides comprehensive vehicle history reports for used cars and light trucks in the U.S. and Canada.


  • Maintenance Records: Carfax includes maintenance records in its reports, a big plus if professionals serviced the vehicle.
  • Comprehensive Reports: Carfax reports are generally more detailed than AutoCheck reports.
  • Brand Recognition: Carfax is a well-known brand in the industry.


  • Auction Tracking: Carfax is less effective than AutoCheck at tracking cars sold at auctions.
  • Cost: Carfax reports are generally more expensive than AutoCheck reports.

Using Multiple Sources for a Complete Picture

No single vehicle history report provides all the information on a car’s past. By combining an AutoCheck and a Carfax report, you get a more complete picture:

  • AutoCheck may list an accident Carfax missed and vice versa
  • Maintenance records in Carfax can reveal important service not in AutoCheck
  • Minor issues may be caught by one report and overlooked by the other

So while a single report is better than none, using both AutoCheck and Carfax ensures you have comprehensive vehicle history before buying.

Which is the most accurate car history report?

There is no doubt that Carfax has been and still is the most accurate of all car history reports, and this is why Carfax is so expensive.

Cost of Carfax Vs. Cost of Autocheck

Both AutoCheck and Carfax have different pricing structures. Here’s a quick comparison:


  • Single report: $24.99
  • Five reports in 21 days: $49.99
  • 300 reports in 21 days: $99.99


  • Single report: $39.99
  • Three reports: $59.99
  • Six reports: $99.99

In general, AutoCheck reports are more affordable than Carfax reports. But remember, it’s not just about the cost. Consider the specific information you need and your budget when choosing between the two providers.

Carfax & Autocheck Discounts

Who doesn’t love a good discount? Both Carfax and AutoCheck offer discounts:

Carfax Discounts

  • AAA members can get discounted Vehicle History Reports from Carfax.
  • You can save up to 50% when you buy Carfax reports in bulk.
  • Carfax offers a student discount to eligible college and university students in the U.S.
  • You can also check for Carfax coupons and promo codes on websites like Business Insider Coupons, Slickdeals, and DealAM.

AutoCheck Discounts

  • TrueCar users can get a single AutoCheck report for $19.99, a discount from the regular price of $24.99.
  • You can find AutoCheck promo codes and discounts on websites like CouponCabin,, and MySavingHub.

Remember to always check the validity of the discount codes and offers before using them, as they may change or expire over time.

Why Test Drives and Inspections Are Crucial

Vehicle history reports have limitations – they only reveal what’s been reported. Unreported accidents, shoddy repairs and recent issues can be missed. That’s why you should always:

  • Test drive the car – Helps spot any obvious issues and confirms comfort/fit
  • Get a pre-purchase inspection by a trusted mechanic – Reveals problems reports missed

With over 100 physical inspection points checked by mechanics, inspections remain essential even with AutoCheck or Carfax reports in hand.

They catch recent mechanical issues and confirm the reports.

Wrapping Up: Is Autocheck Better Than Carfax

In the end, both AutoCheck and Carfax have their strengths and weaknesses.

AutoCheck is generally more affordable and better at tracking auction cars, while Carfax provides more comprehensive reports and includes maintenance records at a higher cost.

For most people’s needs, if your budget permits, go with Carfax. However, if you are on a budget, you’re still in good hands with Autocheck.

Consider your specific needs and budget when choosing between the two. And remember, getting reports from both providers can give you a more complete picture of a vehicle’s history. Happy car hunting!

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Picture of Steve Momot - Author

Steve Momot - Author

Steve, a seasoned expert in the automotive industry, formerly held a car dealer license in Florida. With extensive experience spanning across car trading and mechanical work, he founded Autohitch. His mission? To guide both buyers and sellers through the intricate maze of car purchasing, ensuring a seamless and informed experience. Outside of the automotive world, Steve has a passion for fishing and capturing the beauty of nature through photography.


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