Carfax App Review: Find a Car

Carfax's mobile car-buying app is a solid option for those shopping for used cars from dealerships.
Jun 16, 2022

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

Carfax’s mobile car-buying app has a somewhat narrow focus, as it shows only used cars being sold at dealerships that provide free Carfax vehicle history reports. However, the app offers valuable tools and insights, like a widget that compares a vehicle’s list price with its Carfax value, and a payment calculator that uses your credit score, down payment and loan term to generate an estimated monthly payment.

The app’s search filters cover all the basics, too, including filtering for cars based on mileage, fuel type, color, year and vehicle history. An expansive “popular features” section includes more specific filters, like keyless entry, side airbags, tinted windows, lane departure warnings and other sought-after features.

This app is best for: Individuals who specifically want to buy a used car with a history report from a dealership.

What is Carfax?

Carfax is a car services website that’s best known for its proprietary vehicle service reports, known as Carfax reports. The company has been producing its reports since it was founded in the 1980s. Today, Carfax says its database contains more than 28 billion records, and Edmunds called Carfax reports “the benchmark for all other vehicle history reports.”

Carfax is also an online car-buying marketplace. Its website populates used-car listings from dealerships around the country.

Marketplace car-buying apps typically aggregate new- and used-car listings from big online retailers such as CarMax and Carvana, from local dealerships and often from individual sellers. The best apps offer a wide variety of listings, thoughtful and intuitive filters to zero in on your car, price comparisons, vehicle history reports and other information about the car’s past.

Carfax's listing site doesn't include new cars, private-party sales or dealers that don't use its service. But its app is well-suited for those limiting their search to vehicles with a name-brand history report. Still, you may miss features such as price history or a designated research page offered by other apps.

App features

Loan calculator

Yes.

Vehicle reviews

No.

Vehicle history reports

Yes. All listings include a free Carfax report.

Price alerts

Yes, you can sign up to receive price alerts on specific vehicles.

Cash offers available?

Yes, through Carfax partner dealerships.

Pros:

  • Each listing includes a “popular features” category listing things like remote start, rear bench seating, anti-lock brakes and more.

  • Estimated monthly payment (assuming a 10% down payment and 60-month loan term) is included at the top of every listing.

  • App integrates with the “Carfax Car Care” app to track vehicle’s maintenance and recalls.

Cons:

  • Can’t list your car directly on the app.

  • Selection limited to dealers that use Carfax service.

Carfax's app interface.

Listing a car on Carfax: You can’t list your vehicle directly on the app. Carfax’s desktop website allows users to enter their vehicle’s VIN or license plate number into a form that generates cash offers from local dealerships.

Buying a car on Carfax: Since Carfax aggregates listings from dealerships, you can’t buy a car directly through the app. If you’re interested in a vehicle, the app allows you to either call or send a pre-written message to the dealership.

Useful search filters

Heated seats, blind spot monitor, roof rails, premium sound system, ventilated seats, fog lights and leather seats.

Other useful details

Can I filter out cars with accidents or other damage? Yes.

Can I filter for cars with only one owner? Yes.

Can I filter out online retailers’ non-local listings? Yes.

Get more smart money moves – straight to your inbox
Sign up and we’ll send you Nerdy articles about the money topics that matter most to you along with other ways to help you get more from your money.