How to Use Carfax to Spot a Lemon

Used cars, new cars, for sale, for trade, for salvage, for you? Are you looking through car sales to find a new automobile? If you want to find a great deal on used cars then you should know more about a used car than the owner does…right? Or at least more information than the owner wants to tell you. Learn how to use CARFAX to spot a lemon and you can get a great used car that will take you down the road, trouble free. Forget about the old way of buying used cars. Buy your next car used if you want, just be a smart shopper when you do by knowing how to use CARFAX to spot a lemon.

Visit Choose the type of report you are interested in most. You can get a free CARFAX used car history report for any vehicle. The free reports show details of manufacturer's recall data, Lemon Law infractions, and other 'need to know' data that every car has attached to its VIN. When you want Use CARFAX to Spot a Lemon you should go a little deeper than the free used car history reports from CARFAX to get most information. Spending a little money now might save you thousands in repair costs later. If you trust the person who you are buying the car from than a simple free used car history report from CARFAX can be exactly what you need to feel confident that your purchase is a good one. If you want to know more, spend as little as $29.99 for a single complete CARFAX report or get the $34.99 service which lets you look through unlimited CARFAX reports over a period of one month.

Collect the VIN from a used car for sale. Car sales can be found at dealerships, online, in the classified ads, and on the computer. Ebay, AutoTrader, and private dealerships are all after your used car budget. Be sure you spend your used car budget wisely when you are ready to buy a new, used car. The VIN is located at the base of the dashboard. Looking through the front window into the car, the VIN is stamped on a rectangular metal plate at the bottom right hand corner of the window in front of the driver's seat. New and used cars all have a VIN. Find it and write it down for CARFAX. This is how you will be able to attaché a used car history report to any vehicle you can find for sale today. It is always a good idea to get the VINs yourself. Making a used car purchase in person is always the best idea. If you choose to buy online, then communicate with the owner of the used car consistently until you write a check or deposit money into anyone's account. Now that you have the VIN numbers from used cars you would buy, go back to CARFAX for your free used car history reports and the additional upgraded reports if you purchased them.

Enter the VIN into CARFAX. The simple to use CARFAX history report database has a report for every car on the road today. If the car was registered, then it has a used car history report. If the car was manufactured and never registered, it has a used car history report. Every car has one, even the biggest lemons in town. Do you know how to use CARFAX to spot a lemon? Once you begin to get reports on the cars you want to buy, then you are ready to go spot some lemons.

Read through the capsules of each CARFAX used car history report you order. There are a total of nine reporting topics for each complete CARFAX used car history report: mileage accuracy, report summary, accident reports, vehicle specifications, ownership details, lemon law classification, recall news, warranty items, and vehicle history details. Each one has a summary and a detail page. Now is the time to take your time. Read each item until you have complete knowledge of the report. Make notice of anything that looks inaccurate. Place each report in two piles, the 'NO WAY' and the 'OKAY'. After separating the reports into two piles, go back and review the 'NO WAY' pile again. Find one report that you would be willing to speak to the vehicle's owner again about and place it in the 'OKAY' pile. Now forget about the 'NO WAY' reports and the used cars they report on. Now is not the time to say one thing and do another. Use CARFAX to Spot a Lemon and forget about the lemon immediately.


Go to the used car again. Now that you have the used car history reports for each used car you are interested in, it is time to communicate with the dealer or the owner about the report. Confirm all positive reporting details first. After you have told the car's owner or dealer what's great about the car you can start to develop a conversation about any problems with the used car history report from CARFAX. Is the odometer right? Does it have a salvaged title? Are there a couple of major accidents in the car's history? With all the information that you collected using CARFAX used car history reports, you might just know more than the owner does. Find out what they know and what they don't. Here is where you find which car is right for you. If the seller is not right for you, then the used car is not right for you either. Trust yourself. Buy smart. Be informed, and learn how to use CARFAX to Spot a Lemon, you can do it.

Close-up of  hand holding pen with paper over pile of documents
Close-up of hand holding pen with paper over pile of documents