Vinaudit vs Carfax
If you think that all VIN decoders are the same, you are very much mistaken. This only could be true if you consider free VIN decoders. Still, if you are looking for comprehensive information, accurate descriptions, and insight in a particular car's life cycle, then choosing the right one makes a world of difference. Of course, we are talking about paid VIN decoders, the only kind that can really help you find the right used car and reliable information. Today, we will cover Carfax and VinAudit as two of the most popular such services.
The Carfax could be considered a classic of the genre as one of the first publicly available VIN decoders which are on the market since the mid-'80s. Over the years, Carfax grew as default service for most car shoppers or dealers and its strength is in an extensive network of sources ranging from salvage yards, authorized services, insurance firms, dealer networks, rental and fleet car businesses, customer security organizations, government inspection stations, and law enforcement agencies. This VIN decoder is capable of providing all relevant information from the title of the vehicle, odometer readings, number of owners, inspections and repairs, accidents, and so on.
When you type the VIN of the vehicle you want to search, Carfax connects with over 100,000 sources all over the United States and Canada to provide you with all pieces of information on specific vehicles. Interestingly, Carfax will provide you with mileage reading, which is based on reports from service and average readings for particular make, model, and model year.
However, despite being very precise, Carfax is not perfect, and there is a lot of ways owners can hide specific details from this VIN decoder. For example, not reporting the damage or repairing the vehicle at non-authorized outfits will not show on the Carfax report. The other major downside of this VIN decoder is the fact that Carfax is the most expensive such service online. The single report from Carfax (report for one vehicle, one VIN number) is $39.99. If you are looking for multiple car deals, three reports will set you back $79.99 and ten reports, exactly $99.99. If you are a serious car shopper, using Carfax frequently will quickly become a significant expense.
· Well-known service with lots of experience
· Enormous network of reliable sources
· Covers only the United States and Canada
· Easy to manipulate
On the market since 2012, VinAudit is a Carfax competitor, which grew in popularity and market share due to its slightly different approach and source database. The most significant difference is the fact that VinAudit is an official NMVTIS access provider, which guarantees the accuracy of the information. The NMVTIS stands for the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System, which is a government agency. Using such a comprehensive and official database ensures VinAudit users that they will get entirely accurate information ranging from title documents, insurance records, accident records, and theft records.
This is also the main advantage of VinAudit and the fact that it has unique access to NMVTIS enormous database and does not act as middlemen between users and sources. When you search VinAudit, you are directly connected to the government record, which is essential for many users.
Another significant advantage is the price, and VinAudit is the most affordable VIN decoder on the market. With the low cost of just $5 per car, users can save a lot of money if you are looking for a specific type of car like "damaged" or "salvage title vehicles" you will get instant access. Also, if you are a registered car dealer, you will get full reports for only $1 or unlimited monthly reports for $20, which is really affordable, and its primary reason why some dealers offer free VinAudit reports to potential customers.
Similar to the Carfax, VinAudit only covers the United States, meaning that you can find info only about cars that are produced, sold new, or officially imported in America. Also, if the cunning owners can hide specific details if they choose to go unofficial route and not report the damage and repair it themselves. Also, VinAudit fails to deliver some information that is valuable to customers like average mileage or potential recalls by the manufacturer. However, this service will provide you with an average market price and the estimated cost of ownership for five years if the vehicle has been bought new.
- Accurate and official records
- Very affordable
- Covers only United States
- An amount of information is slightly less than Carfax
- Can be tampered with
There are two main differences between these two VIN decoders, and that is a source list and the price. The VinAudit uses only government-provided sources, which are definitely accurate but, in some cases, will not provide all the information that one needs. The Carfax, on the other hand, has connections with non-state owned sources, and this can make a difference if you are looking for a more in-depth approach and specific data as well for information on older vehicles.
In terms of pricing, VinAudit is a clear winner since you can check an unlimited amount of cars for only $20, while a single-vehicle check at Carfax is $35, and the best deal you can get is ten for $99.
However, overall we would give Carfax a slight advantage due to the fact it has more comprehensive coverage with more available information from a vast network of different sources. Yes, it comes at a steep price, but if it will help save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars on repairs than it is worth an investment. The VinAudit is still an excellent VIN decoder for people who are looking for good value for their money.