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Know Before You Buy: CARFAX Accident Information Helps Car Buyers Build Confidence

Did You Know? About 40% of Vehicles on Road in U.S. Have Been Damaged!

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Americans are driving less since COVID restrictions were enacted, and the number of accidents is also down. CARFAX data shows a 24% decrease in the number of accidents in the second half of 2020, compared to the same period in 2019. Because this is car-buying season and Americans are starting to get their tax refunds – it's important for car shoppers to check for accident history. Damage could reduce the value of a vehicle by thousands of dollars, and could even put your family's safety at risk if it wasn't properly repaired.

CARFAX estimates as many as 40% of vehicles on U.S. roads have sustained damage during their lifetime; that's about 110 million cars. CARFAX data also shows one in four cars are sold within a year of the incident.  That's why accident history is the No. 1 thing used-car shoppers look for in a vehicle's history, and for good reason. The average impact on retail price is about $500, but that average impact on value jumps to more than $1,700 for a vehicle with severe damage in its past. CARFAX has a free valuation tool, History-Based Value, that takes into account vehicle-specific information, such as accidents, to calculate pricing.

Used-car shoppers should remember not all damage events are created equal. Just because a vehicle has an accident or damage event in its history doesn't mean it's a bad buy. Doing homework can pay off: Shoppers may save themselves some money by investigating damage severity. A CARFAX Vehicle History Report can not only show you accidents, but most reports also detail where the impact was and how severe the damage was. In addition to a CARFAX Report, we recommend taking any used car you're considering for a test drive and have it inspected by a trained and independent mechanic. They can spot signs of repairs and make sure they were done properly, and mechanics can see places most shoppers can't.   

Additional Coverage:


How to read accident and damage information on a CARFAX Vehicle History Report:


How to Check for Damage on Used Cars:



CARFAX, part of IHS Markit (NYSE: INFO), helps millions of people every day confidently shop, buy, service and sell used cars with innovative solutions powered by CARFAX vehicle history information. The expert in vehicle history since 1984, CARFAX provides exclusive services like CARFAX Used Car ListingsCARFAX Car CareCARFAX History-Based Value and the flagship CARFAX® Vehicle History Report™ to consumers and the automotive industry. CARFAX owns the world's largest vehicle history database and is nationally recognized as a top workplace by The Washington Post and Shop, Buy, Service, Sell – Show me the CARFAX™. Based in London, IHS Markit is a world leader in critical information, analytics and solutions.

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