How to buy a used car without the pit of stomach anxiety

Photo by Jennifer Acocella for AGirlsGuidetoCars.

Can you ensure your used car has a clean bill of health? Yes, with CarMD.

The debut of CarMD’s new Health and History reports is good news for those of you shopping for a used car. Available online or through the CarMD app, the service is designed to help used car shoppers learn about a car’s past, present and predicted health.  The result? Informed buyers.  And information is power.

CarMD, which also has an onboard diagnostic device (OBD) that lets you uncover a vehicle’s hidden problems and estimate repairs, sees the reports as a way to help online shoppers who are considering vehicles found on sites like AutoTrader, Craigslist or Edmunds. You don’t need the OBD, just the car’s Vehicle Identification Number or VIN. And a healthy appetite for initials.

It pays to comparison shop


There are no surprises with your used car with a Health and History report. Credit: CarMD

You can get five Health and History reports for $25, and you can get these sent to your phone if you are at a used car lot. The reports offers information on past accidents, flood damage, odometer roll backs, VIN fraud, upcoming maintenance needs, and the average fuel economy you can expect.

The reports even include recalls on the vehicle and CarMD’s exclusive Predictive Failure – this tells you the likelihood of potential upcoming repairs, including estimated labor and parts costs.

And you can avoid overpaying for your new (used) car; the report tell you the market value of the vehicle and title information.

You never want the passengers who ride in your car to be sick and you don’t want your car to be sick either.  With the CarMD reports, you can at least control half the equation.


Happy used car buyer. Photo by Jennifer Acocella for AGirlsGuidetoCars.

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Judy Antell, who is's Free in 50 States editor, lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn, with her husband and... More about Judy Antell