What you need to know when buying used cars

Published: Aug. 21, 2018 at 9:18 PM EDT
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When buying a used car, many consumers rely on a vehicle history report to determine the condition and value of the car, but that might not always be enough.

This 2013 Chevrolet Camaro has special meaning for Greg Bulick.

"It was the first vehicle for myself, because I got a scholarship to go to college" said Bulick. "So my dad, me and him went looking for cars for about six months."

Two years ago, he bought the used car for $18,000.

"And so we went down, looked at it. Drove great, you know looked great when we were looking into it. Car Fax was clean which is why we went for the first place to see it. No accidents, no damage, nothing."

Fast forward two years to this summer when he tries to sell the car, and a potential buyer pulls the most recent CarFax vehicle history report.

"And the guy looked at the CarFax and said that this there was a big a big accident must have entered, there's a lot of damage to your car. And i looked back and it had updated saying that in 2015 it had some sort of accident or damage to it. And then they reported it in 2017, after I bought it."

Greg reached out to CarFax but says they told him there was nothing they could do since the information is correct, even though it was added long after he purchased the car.

"You know it doesn't really say that you know oh we can update it a year later."

He says the structural damage reported is on the front right side of the body and the hood.

In response CarFax state that its product is only one step in the used car buying process and that it's also a dynamic tool.

They say their team works tirelessly searching for and adding new sources, loading more than 5 million new pieces of information every day.

So how do you steer clear of this problem in the future?

Experts say it's important to have a mechanic look at the vehicle before buying, to determine its current condition and whether there's been any previous damage.