Vehicle History Reports the quickest path to trust and transparency for dealers and customers

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A recent survey of Canadians found that 88 per cent of buyers want a vehicle history report (VHR) before they buy a pre-owned vehicle.

Smart dealers know that including a CARFAX Canada Vehicle History Report is a good business practice, often including this data on their website for each car. Ahsan Syed is Vice President Operations at Dilawri Group of Companies, and he relies on these reports.

“The majority of our shoppers start their journey by visiting us on our website or other marketplaces,” he said. “We aim to have a CARFAX history report available up front to the customers who view the vehicle detail pages. They are not required to fill out a form in exchange for the report. In return, we receive highly qualified leads that we are able to convert at a higher closing ratio because they have an in-depth understanding of the vehicle’s history.”

VHRs have come a long way since the days when you could only find out if the car had a lien on it or had been in an accident that caused damage. Now, CARFAX Canada has access to thousands of sources to compile a detailed account of damage, maintenance, number of owners, recalls, registration history and more.

“We have literally tens of thousands of sources,” says Shawn Vording, VP Sales & Product at CARFAX Canada. “Our core data set is specific to accident damage, that comes from multiple sources. Then we have maintenance records, which comes from tens of thousands of sources, and then we have branding records and other information from the provinces. At this point, we have access to billions of data records in our North American database.”

“Providing a VHR for every vehicle is key to building trust through transparent transactions, says Syed. Especially now that customers are now asking for the company by name.

“CARFAX has really become a household name,” he said. “The product has come a long way since the days when you could only find out if the car had a lien on it or had been in an accident. It is a tool that contributes significantly to our success by instilling consumer confidence when they are looking for a used vehicle.”

CARFAX Canada recently engaged in a public awareness campaign that garnered a lot of attention with the help of the friendly “CAR FOX.” The aim was to empower consumers to ask about the history of their car, from a trusted Canadian company, so they know they are getting value for their money.

“We know that a majority of consumers want to know the history of a vehicle, it’s an important element of their buying decision,” said Vording. “And we know that dealers are comfortable sharing this information. Not only comfortable, but in many provinces, they’re obligated to share the history of the vehicle. We’ve started to invest in consumer awareness, so consumers know that the information that they’re looking for is available through CARFAX, and also for our dealers to know that when they spend money on CARFAX reports, they get full value out of that report.”

Seamless integration of the reporting service with a dealership and third parties is a key element of the company’s ability to stay the number one VHR company in Canada. “We play in two spaces with dealers,” said Vording. “One is with the vehicles that they’re purchasing wholesale from an auction, or if they’re buying off-lease vehicles. The majority of those re-marketers provide a CARFAX report with the vehicle. The second space that we play with the dealership is when a consumer goes to a dealership to trade in their vehicle, the dealer will run a CARFAX report to determine the history of the car and they’ll make any pricing adjustments based on that history.

At the end of the day, the client service is really what makes dealerships stay with CARFAX instead of the competition. “We choose to stay with CARFAX, not just because of the product, but also because of the relationship we have,” said Syed. “Working with [our rep] Jon is great. From an organizational point of view, the integration available with AutoTrader, our website, and other vendors helps us achieve a seamless experience for the customer. One click and you have the report. It’s very helpful.”

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