When you buy a car, you want to make sure that your purchasing something of quality, that will last for years to come. Buying a car that’s been in an accident may seem counterintuitive, but if you know what to look for, you can actually make a great find. There are various factors to consider when looking at a CARFAX report that will help you determine whether or not the purchase is quality. By understanding these details and knowing where to look, you can find the perfect used vehicle with some steep savings.

Tips for Understanding Your Accident Report

If you’re looking to buy a used car, you should always pull an accident report. Once you have one, here are some things to look for.

  • The Type of Accident: Not all car accidents are equal, and getting the details on an accident is a great way to make an informed decision. While some reports may give you details, others won’t. If you cannot get a detailed report on an accident, it’s best to stay away. If you do, however, look at the severity of the accident. If, for example, the car was able to drive home after the accident, it could have been something as simple as a fender bender. If the car required towing, this may not be the right choice for you.
  • How Many Accidents: Accident reports are great because they generally list any accident a car has been in. If you’re looking into a car that has been in over four accidents, it may be time to take it off your list. One minor accident, however, may still be a good car, so don’t rule them out immediately until you asses the severity of the accident.
  • Status of the Title: The title is your record of ownership for a vehicle. With cars that have been in accidents, the title may change to either a salvage vehicle or a rebuilt vehicle. Rebuilt title cars are basically cars that were in an accident, were repaired, and passed inspection by the state. While they’re not ideal, you can at least consider them a safe choice. A salvage vehicle is a car that has been totaled and the rebuild cost was more than the car was worth. Never purchase a vehicle with a salvage title.
  • Who Completed the Repairs: When vehicle repairs are done, a report is made of where they were completed. If you’re considering buying a car with an accident on its report, be sure that the repairs were done by a reputable body shop. In some situations, a dealer may have repaired the car, which is usually a good choice. If the car has repairs from a smaller shop, however, it may be a car that requires more inspection before purchase.
  • Resale Value: The easiest way to determine whether or not an accident car is your best option is its resale value. If you’re paying well under the reported value of a car, it may be a great deal. But beware, cars that are being sold for considerably less than the KBB value, could have some hidden issues.

A CARFAX report is an invaluable tool for researching cars that have been in an accident. While they may not always be the safest choice, with a quality report you can make the most of the situation, and find some great deals on cars that are still quality. If, however, you are still hesitant about buying a used car that was in an accident, knowing where to shop is also a great option.

CARFAX Used Cars

While CARFAX is known for its accident reports, they also actually sell cars. Best of all, when you search CARFAX Cars for sale, they provide valuable information in the search itself. Some key data you can pull from a search includes:

  • Accident Reports: Through the website, you will be able to see how many negative reports a car has.
  • Owners: While you can’t get specifics on the owner, CARFAX will offer a number of owners. A car with five reported owners, for example, may signal an issue, which would cause the car to be sold constantly.
  • Car Use: This is basically information on how the car was used. Was it a personal vehicle or a fleet vehicle? Knowing the uses of a car helps determine how much wear and tear a car may have.
  • Service History: Oil changes, tire replacements, and minor repairs are all listed in the service history of a car. This is a great way to tell if the car has been properly maintained.

Buying a used car that was in an accident can seem like a dangerous deal, but if you use data correctly, you can actually find a great deal on a high quality vehicle, even with accidents on its report.

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