Buying a used car and need a vehicle history report? Carproof is rebranding to Carfax Canada

Click to play video: 'Consumer Matters: Getting the history of a used car' Consumer Matters: Getting the history of a used car
Our Consumer Matters reporter Anne Drewa has some advice for anyone in the market for a used car, as the company seen as the industry standard for background checks undergoes some changes – Oct 8, 2018

Carproof will officially rebrand as Carfax Canada at the end of October.

The company that provides information on a vehicle’s history is changing its name to align with sister firm Carfax (U.S.)

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“It’s our understanding they will keep all the better features of Carproof even though rebranding to the Carfax name,” said Doug Longhurst with the Vehicle Sales Authority of British Columbia.

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Vehicle history reports aren’t foolproof, but industry experts have called them strong tools for consumers who are buying used vehicles.

“It’s actually a very useful document. It includes the accident history of the vehicle, the registration history of the vehicle, if the vehicle was registered in a different province or if it came up from the United States,” Longhurst said.

Carproof doesn’t just track public data; it also pulls information about the vehicle’s history from various body shops, tracks unfixed safety recalls, stolen vehicle statuses, and can tell the consumer whether there’s a lien on the car.

In fact, according to a study done four years ago by the Automobile Protection Association which compared Carfax and Carproof reports for over 100 damaged vehicles, B.C. had the most reliable Carproof reports.

“In British Columbia, it’s very reliable because they have a partnership with the insurance corporation and their reports pick up stuff our onsite appraiser occasionally missed like vandalism which you wouldn’t know about,” said George Iny of the Automobile Protection Association.

READ MORE: 1 in 5 used vehicles listed online in Alberta has unfixed safety recall — report

Still, there are some accidents that aren’t reported.

“People sometimes choose not to report an accident to their insurer whether it’s ICBC or a private insurer because they are afraid their rates might go up,” Longhurst said.

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If you choose to buy a used vehicle privately, the VSA has advised you to do your homework.

“If a dealer provides a Carfax or Carproof that’s inaccurate that will be a problem for the dealership, but if you are buying privately you need to be more vigilant because sometimes old Carfax and Carproof reports are used that are missing accidents,” Longhurst cautioned.

The APA has recommended that consumers obtain their own vehicle inspection reports and not rely on sellers to provide the documentation; it has seen situations where pages are missing from the original paperwork.

“There are different tricks that are used to kind of sugarcoat or hide some of the information in the report,” Iny said.

Still, Iny added, “Carproof is really revolutionary for what it’s done in Canada. It’s not a perfect light in the room and it doesn’t get to all the corners, but it has dramatically improved transparency in used vehicle transactions.”

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