The History of Car Fax

Written on:May 10, 2010
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Carfax emerged from Edwin Barnett III’s frustration with unscrupulous vehicle dealers that attempted to sell a substandard automobile to a buyer. Common frustrations included altering the number of miles on the odometer or concealing a major accident on the vehicle. The computer analyst from Missouri built his life around providing reports to people to reduce odometer fraud and other fraudulent selling practices.

Carfax Steady Growth

In 1984, Carfax began to sell reports from the 10,000 vehicle records he had in his possession. Barnett late expanded his access to vehicle records to improve the business’s viability and profitability. After nine years, the company was able to obtain reports from all 50 states. Within 10 years time, Carfax had obtained more than 100 million vehicle records. In another 10 years, the company had grown to three billion records.

Currently, the company manages six billion vehicle records. This is a significant improvement from its inception in Columbia, Missouri. With its expansion and increased business, the vehicle has moved its headquarters to northern Virginia.

The Importance of Carfax Reports

Historically, unscrupulous sellers have tried to pass off previously wrecked cars as clean cars to sellers. Later, the owners discovered the damage and dissented. Carfax partners with auction houses to encourage them to provide all wreck information on the Carfax report. Now, collision repair centers, rental companies, insurance companies, fire departments, dealerships, law enforcement agencies, auction houses, state inspection stations and import/export companies all work together to ensure that the Carfax reports are comprehensive and accurate.

Even the United States government recognizes the value of Carfax. In 2009, they partnered with Carfax, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Cash for Clunkers to register the Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs) of 700,000 clunkers with Carfax as salvage vehicles. The law required that these vehicles have their engines removed and destroyed. This process ensured that none of the vehicles made it back to the public for sale. This was a monumental step for Carfax fighting this behavior.

What is Included in the Carfax Report?

Carfax founder Barnett has expanded the amount of information provided in the Carfax report. The VIN is required to retrieve the information listed in the report. Carfax reports typically include the following information:

Catastrophic Events. Previous accidents, flood damage, fire damage, hail damage or other catastrophes.

Previous Owners. The total number of owners and the length of ownership will be revealed on the report. The report may also reveal whether the vehicle was a member of a fleet or a rental car.

Total Loss. Information provided about the vehicle’s total loss status.

Lemon Status. These vehicles have been recalled or repurchased because of major damage.

Odometer Records. Odometer records guarantee the vehicle’s advertised mileage.

Service and Maintenance Records. Some reports provide detailed information about oil changes and major engine work.

Warranty Information. The report will inform the buyer if the vehicle is still under warranty.

Vehicle Rankings. Crash test results, reliability ratings and safety recalls may all be listed on the Carfax report.


Carfax has given customers 28 years of exceptional service and hopes to continue providing the same level of service they are traditionally known for. As the service grows, they find more information to provide to customers to aid them in their search for a pre-owned vehicle. Customers minimize their opportunity of being scammed if they obtain a Carfax report prior to purchasing a vehicle. Carfax promises to share all information that is provided to them on the report. They offer their customers all information that is provided to them by various organizations.

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  1. Pingback:» CARFAX, CarMax, Autocheck: Is It A Good Deal? » Top.Seksas.Us

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