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Discussion Starter #1
I'm scoping out the used 530's and noticed that Ebay sellers offer a fee Auto Check report, that touts itself as being more thorough than Car Fax.
The reports I've seen are very thorough, but still, you have to wonder if the facts they have are based on what is "reported", so it is quite possible there were accidents or other repairs not reported, if the car is not being sold by a BMW dealer.
I'm just suspicious that Auto Check can easily leave out some juicy details, that can only be discovered during a prudent mechanical check. I'm more concerned about this gap of information on cars that are not CPO or BMW dealer sold, since an indie dealer could easily pick up a car with no info that the car wasn't hit at some time or had other repair issues that might be problematic.

FWIW, it looks like Auto Check is more complete in reporting than Car Fax, but has limitations.

Anyone else use Auto Check and to what extent would you think it covered the car's well being?
 

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My two cents.
In comparing Auto Check and Car Fax I do notice Auto Check presents more true history about a car than Car Fax does. I have found instances where AC disqualifies a car where CF doesn't. AC is also less embellished than CF. I have found cars that were noted on CF as CPO, but no such thing mentioned on AC for the same cars. In talking to the dealers I was told those cars did indeed go through inspection for CPO, but were never sold as such because they were auctioned off to non BMW dealers in the end. If I were to rely totally on CF I would have been misled.

One thing you may want to bear in mind for the AC report offered by the selling dealers is that you would not qualify for the buy back guarantee offered by AC if the report is requested by the dealer. You would have to be the paying AC customer to qualify for the buy back guarantee.
 

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Auto Check vs Carfax

I joined yesterday @ AutoCheck for $30 and 90 days unlimited searches. I've been looking at @ 2004-05 330ci and 325ci's for months. I had loads of Vins to run. Some interesting finds.
On a dealer car a free Carfax was offered and it showed NO accidents and ONE owner. AutoCheck showed right front impact with utility pole, car towed. Also AC showed it as a leased vehicle with TWO different owners. I emailed the dealer and have yet to hear back.

On another dealer car with a free CF report it showed the mileage every year at inspection time and when it was serviced at a BMW dealer. Nice. However AC had only 14 miles TOTAL, for when it was first registered. I guess BMW does not communicate with AC.

On a Used Car Establishment (Wallingford, CT) via Autotrader they had a really nice 2005, Silver 330ci with low miles and a low price. No free CF. MY AC found some major title problems, as in a car that was/could have been a "total loss" via the insurance company, and they put it back together. So that was good. Saved me a 50 mile trip to actually see the car. And NO they did not answer any of my email.

I ran both my cars thru AC. Both had accidents and neither showed. '99 Acura, '96 Civic. My '65 Corvette is not covered. Too old.

My conclusion is still buyer beware, but for $30 AutoCheck is a good cross check. Before I actually put any money down I'll spring for Carfax check on that car.
 

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I'm scoping out the used 530's and noticed that Ebay sellers offer a fee Auto Check report, that touts itself as being more thorough than Car Fax.
The reports I've seen are very thorough, but still, you have to wonder if the facts they have are based on what is "reported", so it is quite possible there were accidents or other repairs not reported, if the car is not being sold by a BMW dealer.
I'm just suspicious that Auto Check can easily leave out some juicy details, that can only be discovered during a prudent mechanical check. I'm more concerned about this gap of information on cars that are not CPO or BMW dealer sold, since an indie dealer could easily pick up a car with no info that the car wasn't hit at some time or had other repair issues that might be problematic.

FWIW, it looks like Auto Check is more complete in reporting than Car Fax, but has limitations.

Anyone else use Auto Check and to what extent would you think it covered the car's well being?
Autocheck and Carfax both can miss accident/bodywork history. It is best to have a pre purchase inspection done on any used car before purchase. Also wanted to ask why you state

"you have to wonder if the facts they have are based on what is "reported", so it is quite possible there were accidents or other repairs not reported, if the car is not being sold by a BMW dealer."

Because a car is being sold by a BMW dealer does not guarantee full disclosure. Passing CPO inspection requires that the car can not have an improperly repaired or replaced frame. It may have repainted/replaced body panels and clean Carfax/Autocheck.

Do your homework and ask questions before you buy.
 

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I have worked in the car business since 1994. Let me assure you that while they do catch some information, they by no means catch it all. I have seen paint work on countless cars that show no accidents at all. They are in business to make money by praying on the fears that people have about the big bad car dealer. They make a ton of money by making dealers pay a lot to have a membership to provide the information to potential customers, and then advertise that the dealer isn't trustworthy if they don't have the report to show you. Plus, they only provide the buy back coverage if the customers pays them directly for the report. Great idea, wish I would have thought of it myself, but it doesn't offer a lot of protection.

Also, dealers are only required to disclose bodywork on new cars, a pre-owned car is buyer beware.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm inclined to first buy from a BMW dealer, as a CPO.
If there was a really good deal outside a dealer, for sure I'd have to use both CF and AC to get as much info, as well as a tight inspection.
I wonder how people can afford to buy from a non-BMW dealer off Ebay, even assuming they use both, have an appraisal/mechanical check done?
 
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