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The history of Carfax the company.

May 6, 2010


In 1984 Carfax was born in Columbia, Missouri a computer expert named Ewin Barnett III.  Barnett’s goal was to combat odometer tinkering. By working closely with the Missouri Automobile Dealers Association, in 1986 he offered the first version of the Carfax to car dealers. The first Carfaxes had a database of just 10,000 records and were distributed via fax machine, thus the name Carfax. Late in 1993, Carfax compiled title information from nearly all fifty states. In December 1996, the company’s website was launched to offer consumers the same vehicle history reports available to dealers. In 1999, Carfax was aquired by R.L.Polk.

Did you know that Carfax offers the following reports free? Lemon Check, Record Check, Recall Check, and Problem Car. There is a complete report available for a nominal charge.

Things to look for in a Carfax would be the fire, flood or frame damage. It will tell you if the vehicle was in an accident, and if there was an air bag deployment.

This is a great tool for the car shopper/buyer (and the dealer) in the used car selection process. Just remember, every time a dealership pulls a carfax it costs them money, please ask only if and when you are sure you want the car. Let that be the deciding factor.

What do you say?

  1. Hi Bruce,

    I remember when my insurance company did a search on Carfax for a used Buick I bought. They were able to tell me all about it’s history, and ended up saying it had a bad “reputation”. That said, I did get quite a few years out of the car before she just gave up and died. In many ways, I wish I’d have know ahead of time. That probably would have deterred me from buying it.

    Great blog, by the way. 🙂

    • Hi Barbra,
      Thank you for visiting. Yep the Car Fax is a cool tool. would rather have a customer not buy due to an edgy car fax than have them buy and find out later.

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