Are services like Faxvin, CarFax, etc. valuable in finding past problems in used vehicles?

I found a pickup truck at Enterprise Car Sales I like, but leery of spending my money at rental company sales. - Or any other place for that matter.

closed as primarily opinion-based by Nathan L, Bob Baerker, Dheer, Pete B., JoeTaxpayer Oct 6 '18 at 0:13

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    The folks at Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair will probably have better knowledge in this area (although I don't know whether this would be considered on topic there). – glibdud Oct 1 '18 at 19:57

I just sold my car. I saw the Carfax report for it. It listed the collision damage with the correct amount (someone else hit my parked car). It also listed every single piece of maintenance I did, plus how much I paid.

It's not necessarily going to include everything. If Enterprise themselves did the maintenance, that wouldn't necessarily show up. In my jurisdiction, collisions only have to be reported if the damage is more than, I think, $2000. If that holds for you, you should assume Enterprise would just quietly fix anything below that level and it wouldn't show up.

And, of course, a used rental vehicle is very likely to be driven much harder than one purchased for personal use. This article from The Globe and Mail goes into some details about rental vehicles; rental vehicles are typically cheaper and have had regularly scheduled maintenance, but may have more wear and tear, may have been driven harder, and may have had unreported crash damage.

When buying a used car, you are frequently given the option of an extended warranty. In that case, you are paying for peace of mind, but that peace of mind may be valuable, given that you simply don't know all that much about a used vehicle.

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    I've always wondered about the reliability of used rental cars, since they'll probably have been driven harder than a personal vehicle (as you point out), but I'd imagine they also adhere to a regular maintenance schedule more closely than a random individual might. – Nuclear Wang Oct 1 '18 at 20:23
  • @Nuclear Wang AutoTrader and like websites seem to agree that rentals most likely adhere to a regular maintenance schedule. Not sure yet it that makes me more comfortable. Thanks – Marinaio Oct 2 '18 at 12:54
  • @ChrisInEdmonton You made me think more: What if a rental sells to a dealer? If I spend the money on a report from these VIN checkers, do these databases contain the fact they were former rentals? – Marinaio Oct 2 '18 at 12:57
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    How could they possibly know what maintenance you did? Maybe they know something about things you took it to the dealer for, especially if it's under warranty, but there are lots of independent mechanics, and quite a few people who prefer to do their own work. – jamesqf Oct 2 '18 at 15:41

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