Today we are going to address common questions we get at the body shop.
“Did you guys report my accident to Carfax”?
While many people find Carfax to be a useful service that provides relevant information that a buyer would want before making a decision to purchase a vehicle, for those who have been in an accident it can be a source of contention.
Vehicle owners usually find out about a Carfax report when they go to sell their vehicle – as often dealerships will use the information to determine the marketable value of your trade-in. It is at this point that we usually get a calling asking if we reported their accident to Carfax. Rest assured WE DIDN’T (and WE DO NOT) have a partnership with any reporting service such as Carfax. However, since this question comes up a lot, we are going to explore this topic further, as well as share some useful information.
Over the last decade, Carfax has established itself as a reliable source for ranking vehicles and a helpful guide to consumers with car shopping. Carfax has history of accident and damage reporting. Carfax vehicle history reports have become the industry standard for ensuring everything is aboveboard & as transparent as possible with a used car. Carfax’s services help to break down the information barrier between a dealership and a buyer. This puts everyone on the same negotiation level and keeps everyone “honest” so to speak.
So now that we have touched on what Carfax is and how it can be useful to buyers. Let’s discuss how Carfax gets the information that is listed on a Carfax report. Carfax’s website claims it gets accident and service information from “billions of records received from thousands of sources across the U.S. and Canada”. Talk about being a little cryptic there! Truth is, while there are several ways that Carfax can and does get information, insurance companies, auto dealerships, and accident reports are some of the primary sources for their information. So unless your collision repair shop is owned by an auto dealership, which some are, most likely the information discovered about your vehicle on a Carfax report was not reported by your auto body repairer.
Will an accident reported on a Carfax report for your vehicle hurt its resale value? The short answer is yes. When trading a car into a dealership it can hurt the amount of value you receive, although its usually not a huge amount of difference. It is assumed, and often inspected to ensure, that your vehicle received a quality repair from a reliable collision repair specialist, so unless the damages were not repaired (or were repaired by a hack) the difference in price should not be much.
This brings us to diminishing value – a term most insurance adjusters are familiar with but often do not pay unless requested to do so. Diminished value is the difference in your car’s market value before and after an accident. If the accident is not your fault, it may behoove you to request compensation for the diminished value, especially if your vehicle is new or newer.
Hopefully you found this somewhat helpful. Carfax is a great tool when car shopping and is in place to create a more honest and transparent transaction for everyone involved in the sale of a vehicle. And while we hope you are never in an accident, if you are, please know that we are not affiliated with or owned by an auto dealership. Nor do we have a Carfax subscription (in other words, we do not report accidents to Carfax), but leave that burden to the police departments, insurance companies, and dealerships. Call us if we can help you if you do find yourself in an auto accident and with a vehicle in need of repairs. (405) 634-8200