Industry News & Trends

CarFax launches new history impact tool – Press Release

Is this what you wanted to hear?


CarFax launches new history impact tool

CENTREVILLE, Va. (April 30, 2010)

Carfax has enhanced its Vehicle History Reports with a new tool – the Carfax History Impact. Every used car has a unique history that differentiates its value from other like vehicles. By analyzing market pricing and millions of used car transactions, the Carfax History Impact reflects the amount consumers have adjusted a vehicle’s retail book value based on the information in Carfax Vehicle History Reports. Dealers are using this tool to better determine the right price for their cars.

“Before putting any car on our lot, it’s important for us to know what a customer might expect to pay for that car,” said John Donnelly of Findlay Automotive Group. “The Carfax History Impact gives a clear understanding of how information reported to Carfax adjusts the retail book value that our customers already use in their research. We’re confident that our vehicles are priced competitively in the market and we’re holding gross on each sale.”

Dealers have long considered vehicle history as a key factor when evaluating and pricing used cars for their inventory. The Carfax History Impact gives dealers new insight about the market value to help stock the right cars at the right price. In addition, used car shoppers have more confidence during the buying process knowing how much the market value is adjusted based on vehicle history.

“We have an unlimited Carfax account, so we’re running a Carfax on everything prior to acquisition,” said David Perrin, Pre-Owned Sales Director at Fairfax Honda. “Whether at auction or on trade, it helps us ensure we’re paying the right price for cars our customers want. In addition, we’re not unknowingly purchasing or trading cars with hidden problems, which saves us money and builds customer confidence. Our sales staff gives every customer a Carfax Report and reviews it with them, reducing our days turn and getting us top dollar for our inventory.”

Carfax worked with thousands of dealers to develop the Carfax History Impact. For the past several months, the Carfax History Impact has appeared on all Carfax Vehicle History Reports run by subscribing dealers.

“For years used car shoppers have asked for help determining how vehicle history affects value,” said Larry Gamache, communications director at Carfax. “The Carfax History Impact shows you how much more or less than retail book value other consumers pay based on the reported history, taking the guesswork out. Having more information about what the customer expects to pay at retail helps dealers acquire vehicles at the right price and ultimately make more money.”

Carfax subscribers are encouraged to contact their Carfax Account Manager for more information.

For Press info Contact: Christopher Basso
Carfax Public Relations
Phone (703) 934-2664

Who knew an argument with Jeff Kershner, in 2005, would lead to Alex becoming a partner with him on DealerRefresh. Where will the next argument take ...
O.k well, better late than never I guess. So now that we have the press release, how does this address the previous conversation.

Does Carfax belong in a position of pricing automobiles and should dealers be forced to have this new feature on their websites?
I just wish CarFax would say where these values are coming from.
From what I have been hearing, car dealers do NOT want Carfax in the pricing game. Is this how you feel?
I simply don't see this feature as a win / win type of value added feature. It is one sided and that is not what we as dealers are paying for.

Carfax should back away from the window sticker and continue doing what it is good at, Vehicle History Reports.

I have asked our rep to explain deductions on certain cars and have heard no response. (email) The feeling that regardless of whether they know "what book" or not, the company line is to stand behind the press release and try not to get any on you.
Dealers do NOT want anyone in the "pricing game" unless said entity could actually bring some clarity and accuracy to the market.

NADA and KBB are already providing data that finance companies, floor plan providers, et al, are using to make lending decisions with little regard for the true actual cost of the inventory acquisition. I can deal with that; however, adding yet another valuation tool, with no idea as to the method of valuation is simply ludicrous.

Nothing more than a company on the verge of extinction moving into another vertical in which they have little expertise or experience to keep the revenue stream flowing... Kudos to them for creating a product paid for by the dealers and then using that product to screw the dealers right back... The Press Release is laughable in its arrogance and ego...

I have been an AutoCheck user for over three years now and have been very satisfied with the service and support. I have had NO negative feedback from customers requesting CarFax branded history reports when provided an AutoCheck...

I would recommend any dealer concerned about this latest CarFax initiative to look into AutoCheck.

Just sayin'
Carfax seems ill equipped to deal with this situation in a transparent manner. It certainly is a telling sign regarding their respect for the dealers they claim to represent. Autocheck will be getting a call in short order.

If we as dealers buried our heads in the sand when one or in this case several of our customers had complaints we would be finished. I am very surprised that Carfax can claim a position in the automotive digital world and be so naive to its scope.

Anyone care to explain reputation management to our friends at Carfax.
  • A
    Andrew Wright
  • May 3, 2010
Carfax definitely does not belong in the price dictating game. The whole concept is awfully subjective. Provide the history report and be done with it. The market dictates the price. Just like one owner cars bring more money than non one owner cars. How much is up to the market. It's putting the cart before the horse. They are trying to add features to their product so it doesn't go stale I guess. Sometimes one just needs to leave well enough alone.
It would seem from the tone of the press release that CarFax is betting against the 5% of dealers who MAY engage in online forums like DealerRefresh.

Their lack of direct response tells me that they believe that you (members here) have no ability to make enough noise to impact their business model.

The question at hand is how do we make the other 95% hear and particpate in this discussion?
How's that go again Brian, "Don't piss off an SEO guy"?
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Great point Brian, perhaps using the other more traditional forums, such as 20 groups and state associations.
  • M
  • May 4, 2010
I posted this in the other thread about &quot;CARFAX - What are you thinking?&quot; but one of their sales guys sent me a .pdf of this release, and with &quot;what dealers are saying&quot; about the product, and it quoted Troy Shields from &#039;unknown dealer&#039; comments from that other thread as some of the great things dealers are saying about the product.

They&#039;re aware of this feedback, but aren&#039;t addressing it at all - at least not publicly. A little interesting that the person&#039;s comments they&#039;re using are from an unknown dealer - has Troy Shields been active on here outside of the Carfax comments before?
My group will be seriously considering Autocheck after this sloppy ordeal.

We do have consumers wanting the additional sum that CarFax suggests on the CarFax - that ofcourse happens to be right on our dealer websites.

Many of our cars are already price adjusted to the market. Consumer want the discount off your low price NOT the average &quot;Retail&quot; price.

Dealer should be given the opportunity to decide if they want this feature on their CarFax.

CarFax can spin this anyway they want but this was simply an unintelligent move.
  • D
    Dan P.
  • May 10, 2010
I am not a dealer, but just a simple car owner who has tried to trade his vehicle in for a new one. Here is my take on this new history impact feature. Sure, its new and no one at CARFAX wants to share how they are coming up with this impact number. If it truly were an accurate reflection of what the vehicle history impact had against the trade in value or retail value, I think it would seriously help to correct the biggest flaw with these type of reports. These type of reports, more often than not, create a false value of a vehicle. Take for instance the SUV I want to trade in. It was involved in an accident 6 months after I bought it new.(I rear ended a car doing about 5 MPH, after almost stopping)I needed a new hood,radiator,grille, lights, etc. There was no frame damage and the car has driven perfect from that time almost 3 years ago. Yet, I go to the dealer and they want to heavily penalize me because the CARFAX report says there was an accident? Because the buyer of a used car wants the car heavily discounted for an accident? The car drives perfect! I paid the deductible, the insurance paid for the car to be repaired, I have been and will keep paying insurance surcharges and now a hefty &quot;accident deduction&quot; off my trade in? This is the true problem here. Everyone is trying to heavily discount the vehicles value, not on the &quot;impact of the vehicles accident history&quot; but on the word &quot;accident&quot;. I am not saying that this impact value that CARFAX has come up with is a true indicator of the vehicles +/- value, just that something like this needs has to be done to correct the monster that these reports create.
  • V
  • May 10, 2010
Dan P., the simple car owner who had tried to trade in his used vehicle for a new one, is the only commenter to this article who properly capitalized the word &quot;CARFAX&quot;.

He has also concluded from this single experience that &quot;more often than not... these reports... create a monster... that must be corrected...&quot;.
  • D
    Dan P.
  • May 11, 2010
I don&#039;t understand your input there, Vin. Are you agreeing with me or do you not think I am who I say I am?

In any case, I went to another dealer yesterday and pretty much heard the same thing, that there would have to be some deduction based on there being an accident on my CARFAX report. &quot;This is because when a buyer of a used car sees the report, the first thing they want is a discount.&quot; So I threw this question out to the salesman...If I have a brand new vehicle and some little old lady backs into me at the grocery store, not only should I get her insurance info and call for a police report, I should contact a lawyer to sue her for the $1,200 loss that I will realize when I go to trade in my vehicle in 3 years? He just laughed. No, seriously I said. I guess you could try, he said. I think that any vehicle that had an accident should be inspected after repair and an &quot;accident impact value&quot; be reported to CARFAX. That way the owner of the vehicle, the dealer, and the buyer of the vehicle are on some sort of level playing ground.
  • J
  • May 11, 2010
Dan P.-

I was in an accident last month and incurred $3500 damage. It was the other drivers fault.

So I settled with his insurance company had my car repaired and i then proceeded to file my claim with the other drivers insurance company for vehicle depreciation claim. I knew that in the future when i go to sell my car the CARFAX will show the accident. I received $1600 for my claim with no questions asked. So i now have the money I will be out when I go to trade in and they offer me less because of my CARFAX.

Much easier than the police report and sueing scenario.
  • T
    Tim Jennings
  • May 13, 2010
So CarFax calls to try and sign me up on their Free service reporting product. (They have been trying for all 3 years its been out) 32 min later (I checked the time stamp) I had rep somewhat agreeing with me about flaws in the pricing tool they just rolled out. He didn&#039;t know how they came up with the + - = number as well. He gave me his speech and I said, &#039; You told me you sold cars, If you used that word track to a customer, do you think that would buy that explanation? He said probably not. Point is he was taking notes and said he wanted to hear all feed back If the powers at be hear enough feed back maybe things will change. SO LETS CONTINUE TO GIVE THEM THE FEED BACK!!!

Great post. You guys in stores need to also press your GMs and Owners to bring this up at 20 groups and state associations too.

Joe Turner

I have a meeting with two reps from CARFAX next week. They are very aware of what is going on here as well as other automotive sites.

I clarified my concerns and position and asked that they come prepared to answer &quot;What Book Value&quot; is being used and exactly what criteria is used to establish the + / - values. They understand that if they do not have clear answers to these questions they should not bother having me paged to the showroom.

I think what has taken place here on Dealer Refresh has had a tremendous effect on the industry. I know for a fact that other vendors like and Autotrader have been watching this exchange very closely.

Regardless of how this ends up being handled or not handled by CARFAX, a message has been sent that Dealerships have matured beyond having things rammed down their throats or glossed over by software and internet vendors.

We the Internet Directors are the eyes of the dealerships and we take our positions very seriously. We will only accept what is best for our stores and we are communicating with our peers like never before in the history of the Auto industry at any level. We place value in vendor partnerships and expect them to do the same.

hmmm.... sounds like the beginning of an Automotive Vendor Manifesto, jump on and add something if you care to.
Todays Automotive News
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We are switching to Autocheck!
After meeting with our new Carfax Rep today, I was left with the impression that they are not changing their policy on valuations. My opinion is that they should use their resources and manpower to correct the odometer issues from minimum wage Walmart oil change guys before starting a new venture that they know NOTHING about. I will still use them for our CPO vehicles, but I&#039;m calling Autocheck!
  • G
  • July 23, 2010
I have a Honda van that was involved in an accident that we did not know of as it wasn&#039;t disclosed to us when we bought it used from a dealer...we are now upside down with this car and discovered that at the first time we tried trading it in...we are looking at a $1500 loss in value due to CARFAX&#039;s BS!!!!!!! We didn&#039;t have the accident .. we are now paying for it..there has to be a better system!