Technologically conceived and highly questioned on their level of accuracy, CarFax has made their name in an industry where Kelley Blue Book, NADA and Edmunds dominated for decades. Offering insightful crash, ownership and title rebuild information, the data company is currently headquartered in Centreville, Virginia but was founded in Missouri (the “Show Me” State).
Financially, the company seems stable. So why are many questioning the integrity of CarFax reports?
Forget the growing number of Consumer Reports complaints, or days spent in court arguing fee hikes, like this one. The issues with CarFax can be summarized in one sentence: accurate automobile history reports are only as reliable as the data furnisher. If vehicles weren’t entered into some protected database (when Uncle Tom fixed your rear differential or performed an auto oil change, for example), how can anyone rely on what information CarFax scraped?
Edmunds may not house massive loads of information, but it’s used to determine car-buying decisions by frugal car buyers. We examine what Edmunds is, does and does not do.
Edmunds: Simplified Car Buying Decisions
Whether you’re an experienced car buyer or relatively new at the procedure, anyone interested in buying a new or used car from dealers or an automobile auction needs a little extra help along the way. Whereas some people prefer using Google or NADA, more people prefer using an authoritative website like Edmunds, a reputable car review platform that dissects everything about cars, allows you to see other people’s reviews, and gives you an idea of what to expect when hitting the automotive marketplace for your next car.
To get a better picture of Edmunds, we have put together this quick summary of reasons to use Edmunds for purchasing decisions you’d normally make with CarFax.
Total Market Value, the trademark of Edmunds, is in place to give everyone a basic idea where a used car should stand with certain parameters entered into their website. Factors such as mileage, cosmetic defects and other mechanical issues can seriously devalue vehicles and to avoid getting scammed, you should use TMV for all your car-buying decisions.
Once you see the fair market value of the vehicle you want to purchase at a reputable dealership, you’ll immediately know if the price is acceptable by retail standards or if it’s total rip-off pricing. No other platform is as comprehensive as TMV — none we discovered, at least.
Knowledge is Power…
Edmunds is great for car auction-goers, too.
Next, professional car aficionados know the mainstream used and new auto industry better than most; leaning on the advice of professional car gurus can not only limit your potential for being defrauded, it can lower what you pay for a car — so long as their advice is followed to perfection. Many times, I have wished that Edmunds online was around in the 1980s to stop me from buying junk or lemon vehicles; you can benefit before heading to an auction, for example, by knowing what cars are due to be auctioned and check on their actual net worth so your budget can be made around those prices.
Once you’ve factored in net worth, remember to factor in tires and other post-purchase needs, which Edmunds can also suggest (if you ask nicely).
Reviews are Handy
Reading reviews also assists the buyer in making sound purchasing decisions, simply because another man’s woes could potentially save thousands of inexperienced buyers. Reading reviews has caused many people to purchase vehicles from reputable dealerships at lower-than-expected prices simply because they trusted the experience and knowledge of another.
You don’t necessarily need to be a mechanic to have good car-buying sense; reading the assessments of expert Edmunds writers before you buy can be just enough to influence decisions in either positive or negative directions.
In Closing: Edmunds is Trusted. CarFax is…ugh.
Edmunds is one of the most trusted sources of new, used and auction car-buying on the planet. KBB and NADA are great car guides, yet they lack the informative insight that Edmunds provides its customers. With shysters still running amok throughout the automotive sales industry, it helps to have an added asset before car shopping at reputable dealerships, and you can receive free information, night or day, simply by visiting the Edmunds website. You don’t have to hate car shopping any longer with weapons like TMV from Edmunds on your side.
CarFax works wonders for offering some form of data. Consumers are still wondering what that data entails, since most information provided to dealerships is based off educated guesswork.