CARFAX CANADA
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CARFAX Canada Frequently Asked Questions

 

Ordering and delivery

CARFAX Canada Verified reports cost $54.95 plus tax, and CARFAX Canada Claims reports cost $39.95 plus tax.

If the vehicle has been registered in B.C., you will have the option to upgrade your report to include claims information from the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC), the province’s public insurance provider. ICBC charges $20.00 for information on claims made under their coverage. When running a VHR on a vehicle with B.C. registration, we recommend upgrading the report to include ICBC data.

Most CARFAX Canada reports are ready within minutes. The data contained in a CARFAX Canada report comes from a variety of sources in multiple time zones, each with different hours of operation. In some cases, a report will show as 'Collecting Data' – this is usually because one of our data sources is temporarily unavailable. Refresh your report or check back later – the status will change from 'Collecting Data' to 'Complete' once all the data sources populate.

No. Anyone can run a CARFAX Canada on any vehicle, all you need is the VIN.

Once you've submitted your order, you'll receive an email with a link to your report.

After placing an order, the order confirmation screen will give you a direct link to your report online. You should also receive an email with a link to your report within a few minutes. If you don’t see anything in your inbox, check your spam or junk mail folder. If you’re still having trouble please contact our Customer Service team at 1.866.835.8612 or support@carfax.ca.

Information in your CARFAX Canada report

The CARFAX Canada Verified report is the most comprehensive vehicle history report we offer. It provides damage history, unfixed recall status, registration history, stolen vehicle status and also searches for liens registered against the vehicle in the Canadian province or territory you’re located in if the vehicle is currently registered there, and every other province and territory in Canada where the vehicle was registered or had its registration renewed within the past year. The CARFAX Canada Claims report is similar to CARFAX Canada Verified but does not include a lien search.

This is a waiver of depreciation provided by an insurance company that can be attached to the insurance policy of a new vehicle. With 43r, no depreciation will be applied if a new car (less than 36-months old) is damaged in an accident.

If the vehicle experiences loss or damage (including a total loss), the loss settlement that the insured will receive is equal to the original purchase price. A 43r status may appear in the Accident, Collision and Damage Detail section of our reports.

Vehicles with only one previous owner are preferred by some buyers over vehicles that have had multiple owners, however, it really comes down to personal preference. A vehicle that has had multiple owners can still be a great one! The One Owner™ badge makes vehicles with only one previous owner easy to find. Please note that CARFAX Canada uses information from a variety of sources to identify One Owner vehicles, but in some cases (and in some provinces), we cannot make that determination.

Not necessarily. In some situations, the data supplied to CARFAX Canada does not highlight ownership changes.

The No Reported Accidents™ badge indicates that none of CARFAX Canada’s data providers have reported any accident or damage records on the vehicle, including police reports, insurance claims, and body shop repair records.

Not necessarily. Over 30% of vehicles run by CARFAX Canada have damage history, but if repaired properly, they can still be a great vehicle! If your report shows that the vehicle has sustained damage in the past, we recommend having a mechanical inspection so a licensed mechanic/auto technician can make sure it was repaired properly.

There are certain situations where CARFAX Canada may not have the complete history of a vehicle (for example, some rental car vehicles). In these situations, the No Reported Accidents badge may not appear.

The CARFAX Canada Top Condition badge highlights vehicles registered in Canada that meet the conditions of the manufacturer’s Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) program, as well as CARFAX Canada’s requirements for vehicles to achieve Top Condition status.

The CARFAX Canada Low Kilometres badge is available for vehicles registered in Canada that have accumulated annual mileage less than 18,000 kilometres per year (based on odometer readings reported to CARFAX Canada).

This record most often appears in cases where a vehicle is stolen, or damage to the vehicle is approaching or exceeds its current value. This will always appear as $0.00 on a CARFAX Canada report.

This is a certificate issued by a U.S. state’s Motor Vehicle Department designating the legal owner of a vehicle. With very few exceptions, a security interest or lien must be noted on the certificate of title.

This indicates when a new vehicle is delivered to a dealer and available for sale.

The vehicle was in a retail dealer’s inventory on the date reported.

The vehicle was previously reported as stolen and has been recovered.

The whole vehicle was stolen. The payout is based on whether the vehicle had to be replaced, or if any damage was sustained by the unit while out of the owner’s possession.

Items were stolen that were either attached to or part of the vehicle. These could include air bags, stereos, rims and tires. This does NOT include personal items in the vehicle like golf clubs or laptops.

The vehicle was stolen from its legal owner.

Storm registration/title means that a vehicle was registered or titled prior to a storm event in a FEMA-designated storm-damaged area. Storm events can include hurricanes, floods and other natural disasters. While a vehicle may have been reported as titled or registered in an affected area, it may not have been damaged by the storm, or it may have been moved to safety during the storm. We recommend a thorough professional inspection of the vehicle to confirm whether it sustained any storm damage.

The vehicle has been identified as sold by the registered owner.

This is the ownership interest (or lien) that a vehicle owner grants to a party as collateral for a loan. If a security interest is properly filed, it may be enforceable against future vehicle owners.

R.I.V., or RIV, is the Registrar of Imported Vehicles, an entity created by Transport Canada to manage and oversee the import of used vehicles into Canada. Currently the RIV is operated by Adminserv, a division of Livingston International.

This means the vehicle was registered for sale at a wholesale auto auction for dealers only. This is a common way for dealers and manufacturers to sell used and fleet vehicles to other dealers. Odometer readings and other announcements are recorded.

This describes a repair estimate on a vehicle that was not being operated when the damage occurred. It’s very often referring to a comprehensive claim like vandalism.

The vehicle had a registration renewal event reported by a vehicle registration authority (state or provincial). Typically, this is a change of ownership or renewal of a license plate sticker.

The date that this registration expires or expired.

The date this registration record became effective.

The vehicle was reported as scrapped, or major components were removed by a recycling facility.

This is an insurance company created by an act of government. Public insurance companies are mandated in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The Québec government also governs private insurance for vehicles in its jurisdiction.

An insurance company that was not created by an act of government. Private insurance companies are most prevalent in Canadian jurisdictions where there is no government mandated public insurance.

This vehicle was reported as a possible total loss to an insurance company.

This means that the vehicle sustained damage to its roof, which is common in hail damage.

This means that the vehicle sustained damage in multiple places. This term is commonly used to describe hail damage in vehicle repair estimate records.

This is an insurance term used by some companies to describe a collision or other damage claim where the claim amount was less than the full market value of the vehicle.

This is the odometer reading supplied to CARFAX Canada, along with the unit of measure: KM = Kilometers, MI = Miles and U = Unknown.

The vehicle has odometer-related problems. These may include discrepancies like a broken odometer, exceeding a vehicle’s mechanical limits, mileage discrepancy, or suspect miles.

The actual mileage on the vehicle is reported to be different than the odometer reading.

This is a repair estimate on a vehicle that was not being operated when the damage occurred. It’s often associated with comprehensive claims like vandalism.

A Motor Vehicle Department is a government entity responsible for motor vehicles in a particular jurisdiction. In Canada, this is typically the provincial Ministry of Transportation (MOT); in the U.S. it is typically the state's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

Various insurance carriers have different ways of classifying damage to vehicles. A classification of 'miscellaneous' refers to numerous types of damage that are not specifically coded by the insurer.

These terms are used to describe the party who has been granted the lien or security interest in the vehicle.

‘Lemon' is a U.S. brand attached to a vehicle's title if it has problems that could not be fixed by the manufacturer. The specifics of what constitutes a Lemon vary by state, but once a vehicle is branded a Lemon there are various legal remedies available to the consumer, which may include the manufacturer buying back or replacing the vehicle.

This is the dollar amount an insurance company paid for damages to an insured vehicle. Insurance claim amounts in CARFAX Canada reports do not include payment for expenses like rental vehicles or personal injuries. Please note that the dollar value of a recent claim can change if the claim is still being processed.

This means the vehicle must be certified or pass inspection (usually mechanical). The vehicle may have not been roadworthy or the jurisdiction may be making a note that the vehicle needs inspecting prior to its next registration.

This means the VIN, though associated with a registered vehicle, has an abnormal configuration.

An older term used for any vehicle that is imported into the U.S. that was not originally manufactured for the U.S. market.

This means the vehicle has been reported as used as a fleet, rental and/or lease vehicle. An example of fleet would be a vehicle lent to a company for temporary use.

This means an approved emission testing station has inspected the vehicle to measure the amount of pollutants it emits into the environment.

This is a category of data used by CARFAX Canada and Experian Automotive to describe any registration of title transaction performed by a government motor vehicle department in Canada or the United States.

State agencies such as Departments of Motor Vehicles and Bureaus of Motor Vehicles are referred to as DMVs. They typically issue vehicle titles and registrations, and handle individual driver's licenses.

This term is used to describe the cancellation of a policy of insurance for a vehicle.

A cloned vehicle has had its VIN changed to match the VIN of another vehicle. This is typically done by car thieves to hide a VIN that is registered as stolen. A stolen vehicle that has had its VIN changed could be seized by police.

The debtor is the borrower in a lender/borrower relationship. Typically, the debtor is also the owner of the vehicle.

This refers to an insurance claim related to vehicle repair costs. Examples include parking lot incidents or damage occurred while parked.

This term describes the renewal of a vehicle’s insurance policy. Some insurance companies will use this term for a vehicle the first time it is insured, if the policy was transferred from another vehicle.

This means the vehicle was registered and used for business purposes (such as a delivery truck, taxi or car rental).

A collision is how many refer to an incident with another vehicle.

This term is used to describe the filing of a new registration or the renewal of an existing registration at a Ministry of Transportation office in any Canadian province or territory.

A wholesale auto auction has reported that the vehicle has sustained frame damage, which can weaken the structure of the vehicle. This may also appear if an after-market product was drilled/attached to the frame. An example would be a snowplow hitch attached to a truck.

A wholesale auto auction has reported that a flood has damaged the vehicle.

The vehicle was found deserted. Either the registered owner could not be found or there was no jurisdictional record of the vehicle.

CARFAX Canada provides service records to give you an idea of how the vehicle was maintained.

If the owner of a vehicle moves out of province and takes the vehicle with them, the province they are leaving will brand the vehicle ‘Moved'.

This means that one or more of CARFAX Canada’s data sources hasn’t yet responded with the information requested. The report will automatically update (usually minutes later) when all the information is available. You can also check back by refreshing the report link as your report will show up ‘Complete’ rather than ‘Collecting Data’ when it is ready.

This occurs on American vehicles if there is no estimate available, or when the information about the incident was provided to CARFAX Canada through a police report. Unlike an insurance document, a police report doesn’t assign a dollar value to an accident – it just notes that an incident occurred.

This means that damage has occurred to the vehicle but the monetary value is either unknown, or the claim is still in progress. Common reasons for this are: the incident is recent and a claim has not yet been paid out, the claim was denied by insurance, or the owner chose to pay out of pocket.

Each provincial Ministry of Transportation or U.S. state applies brands to classify the condition of a vehicle. Normal, Salvage, Rebuilt, Junk and Non-Repairable are examples of vehicle brands. Vehicles are branded as ‘normal’ if there has been no unusual activity.

Normal: The vehicle has no negative branding in the reporting province.

Salvage: A vehicle is registered as ‘Salvage’ when it’s structural integrity has been compromised, and the repair costs are estimated to be higher than the car’s current market value.

Rebuilt: A vehicle registered as ‘Rebuilt’ was previously declared a ‘Salvage’ but has been rebuilt, inspected and declared safe to drive.

Non-repairable: A vehicle is branded ‘Non-repairable’ when it’s been damaged so severely that it can never be rebuilt for safe use on the roads.

Junk: The term ‘Junk’ is a registration term used by various state agencies in the United States. It may mean any one of the three definitions described above. Once one of these brands has been applied to a vehicle, it should never receive ‘Normal’ registration

CARFAX Canada Verified reports provide registered lien information from select personal property registries in Canada. The reports provide the same information that is accessible from public documents.

CARFAX Canada will search for liens in the Canadian province or territory you’re located in if the vehicle is currently registered there, and every other province and territory in Canada where the vehicle was registered or had its registration renewed within the past year.

Note that CARFAX Canada does not interpret or manipulate this data. If you have questions about the validity, status or enforceability of a lien that is reported by CARFAX Canada, we suggest you contact a lawyer or ask your local banker (or vehicle lender) to interpret the information. You may also contact the ‘Secured Party’ noted in the lien record for clarification.

True Value

CARFAX Canada True Value is a used car value calculator that tells you how much a vehicle is really worth, based on what similar cars have sold for nearby, adjusted to consider the unique history of that specific car (including any damage records, odometer readings and registration history).

If your car is brand new or manufactured before 2000, it’s likely that the number of comparable vehicles sold in your area is not large enough to produce a reliable average. Similarly, it may be a very unique model that we don’t have information for. In some cases, our Customer Service team can still help you run a vehicle history report for these vehicles – just give us a call at 1.866.835.8612.

The amount a dealer offers for your vehicle accounts for the costs associated with preparing it for sale, plus the time it takes to market the vehicle and process the legal requirements of a used car sale. Remember that while this may impact the amount you’re offered for your trade, it can spare you a lot of time and effort, plus you could save a significant amount of tax by trading in rather than selling privately.

The True Value range provides the average highs and lows of what similar vehicles have sold for in your area. As a result, you range may be either below-average or above-average, depending on the specific information about your vehicle.

CARFAX Canada True Value is calculated using advanced data science. However, there are a variety of reasons why the number provided may be different than what you expected. If you’re trading in to a dealer, keep in mind that dealer offers must account for the cost of reconditioning your vehicle to get it ready to sell, so their offer may be different than the CARFAX Canada True Value. On the other hand, this is saving you the time and effort to prep and sell the car yourself.

There are also things about your vehicle that no one knows but you. They can also impact the vehicle’s value, so keep them in mind when negotiating your deal. These include:

Colour

If it was smoked in

Number of previous owners

Service history

Extended warranties

After-market features

Extras like winter tires

Recent replacement of brakes, battery etc.

Potentially, yes. Every vehicle registered in British Columbia must have insurance coverage from ICBC. If you decline the ICBC upgrade, your report may not include important information about damage claims filed under ICBC, impacting the accuracy of your appraisal.

A value range allows room for negotiation, and for factors that this tool cannot capture. Perhaps the vehicle comes with brand new winter tires? Maybe it has a few scratches or a chipped windshield? These factors can all be used to negotiate the price within the range served.

Other general questions

This is the document issued by a Motor Vehicle Department to designate the party authorized to operate the vehicle. This document is frequently referred to as the "ownership" but it is not a document of title.

It’s uncommon, but possible, for dishonest sellers to misrepresent CARFAX Canada and produce fraudulent copies of our vehicle history reports.

If you have any doubts about the validity of your report, please contact us. To prevent this from occurring, always view the report from its unique URL rather than a PDF sent by the seller.

The Carfax Canada website is live 24/7, and our Customer Service team is available from 8 am to 8 pm EST Monday to Thursday and from 9 am to 5 pm EST Friday and Saturday.

Because it’s so important to provide up-to-date information, your Carfax Canada report will expire 180 days after it is purchased.

Visit our Dealer Members page and follow the directions there. Once you complete the registration information, a Carfax Canada representative will contact you shortly.

CARFAX Canada offers a Value Pack for consumers interested in getting the history of more than one vehicle during their search. The Value Pack contains three Claims reports and a lien check.

To protect the privacy of the vehicle owner, listing sites ‘reskin’ a Verified report into a Claims report. To view the report as a Verified (with lien information showing) simply view or forward the link received in their email purchase confirmation.

If the seller is a licensed dealer and you feel that they’ve intentionally misled you, you can contact the government body responsible for issuing dealer licenses.

In those situations, we will likely still be able to generate a report for you, but if you are in any way unsure, please contact our Customer Service team prior to placing your order so we can answer any questions you have.

Every vehicle manufactured since 1980 has a unique 17-character serial number called a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). Databases store information about vehicles based on their VIN, and it’s what CARFAX Canada uses to pull data that’s specific to the vehicle being searched. That’s why it’s so important that you enter your VIN correctly when ordering your CARFAX Canada report.

For more information on the VIN and what it can tell you, click here.

Yes. CARFAX Canada’s lien information is presented exactly as it is stored and reported by the government at the time that the search request was made. If for some reason our search fails to accurately reflect the records of each personal property registry in Canada that is searched at the time the search request is made, CARFAX Canada will reimburse the person or party who purchased the report and relied on it to their detriment, a maximum amount equal to: the value of the car, the value of the lien, or $5,000 Canadian (whichever is lower).

A lien is any money owed on a car. If a lien is registered properly, it may be enforceable against future vehicle owners. What that means is that if you buy a car that has an enforceable lien against it, you are responsible for the cost of that lien.

Still not clear? You’re not the only one – watch this video to learn more about liens and why this is such an important thing to know before you make a used car purchase.

Privacy and security

Please click here to see Carfax Canada's Privacy Policy.

Absolutely. CARFAX Canada's order pages are hosted under a secure network that supports 128-bit encryption, meaning that plain text is scrambled during transmission so others can’t read it.

You also might like to know that CARFAX Canada does not see, and therefore cannot store, your credit card information. Credit card transactions on our website are performed through Chase Paymentech, one of the largest internet credit card systems in North America.

We need your email address to send you the report that you’ve ordered.

Yes! Providing a vehicle history report to potential buyers shows them you’re a seller they can trust. Sending the report URL via email allows your potential buyer to see the report exactly as it appears on the CARFAX Canada website and it makes it easy for the buyer to scroll through the report and click on links.

Value Packs

A Value Pack is a bundle of CARFAX Canada products that lets you check out three vehicles for one low price. Each Value Pack comes with three Claims Reports and one Lien Check, so you can run Claims Reports on the vehicles you’re considering, and once you think you’ve found the one, you can run a Lien Check and make sure there is no money owing on the car.

A Claims report checks a vehicle for accident history, past registration locations, stolen status, unfixed safety recalls and more.

If the person you’re buying from has a lien on the vehicle and doesn’t tell you about it, you could find yourself responsible for the remainder of their debt. A Lien Check looks at records from every province that the vehicle was recently registered in, and lets you know if there’s any money owing on the vehicle.

If the person you’re buying from has a lien on the vehicle and doesn’t tell you about it, you could find yourself responsible for the remainder of their debt. A Lien Check searches for liens in the Canadian province or territory you’re located in if the vehicle is currently registered there, and every other province and territory in Canada where the vehicle was registered or had its registration renewed within the past year.

Let’s face it – sometimes you have to look at a few vehicles before you find the one. The Value Pack gives you the power to get all the info you need on multiple vehicles for one low price, so when the time comes to make a decision, you’ll be confident that you knew everything you needed to know.

You must redeem all reports included in your Value Pack within 60 days of purchase. But, keep the links to the reports you order – they’ll remain available to view for six months after your purchase.

Value Packs expire after 60 days, which provides time to evaluate the vehicles you’re considering, while ensuring the most up-to-date information is being pulled from CARFAX Canada’s data sources.

If you think you’ll only need one more report, return to CARFAX Canada’s order page and purchase a Claims or Verified report. If you think you’ll need more than one, consider buying another Value Pack.

No problem! Just click ‘Lost your Value Pack’ on the top right corner of www.carfax.ca and we’ll send you a new link. You can also contact our Customer Service team at 1.866.835.8612 or support@carfax.ca for help.

You sure can! When you click ‘GET CARFAX Canada’ on an online vehicle listing, you’ll be asked if you’d like to redeem a report from your Value Pack or submit a new order. Select the Value Pack option and we’ll walk you through the process.

All CARFAX Canada reports are available to view for six months after they are redeemed. (Note: you must redeem your reports within 60 days of purchasing a Value Pack.)

After purchasing a Value Pack, you’ll receive an email with a link to your Dashboard where you can run your Claims Reports and Lien Check – just follow the prompts to get started. Your reports will be available to view on this page for 60 days after your purchase.

The link to your Value Pack should be emailed to you within 30 minutes of the order. If you’re missing an email from CARFAX Canada, check your junk mail folder to be sure it didn’t end up there accidentally. If you’ve checked and it’s still not there, simply call our Customer Service team at 1.866.835.8612 and we’ll be happy to help.

Make sure you have the right VIN before running a report. As a final check point, you’ll also have the opportunity to confirm the make and model before running your report. If you make a mistake, you are welcome to call our Customer Service team at 1.866.835.8612 for help.

Registration and branding

Discover which provinces the vehicle was registered in and whether the car has been negatively branded.

Full Canadian and U.S. history

See a complete picture of any vehicle history from across Canada, as well as the U.S.

Bilingual information

CARFAX Canada’s website, vehicle history reports and customer service are available in French and English.