CARFAX AND AUTOTRACK IN LARGEST DUTCH NEWSPAPER
Algemeen Dagblad AutoTrack Supplement / Netherlands I 2018-07-18
CARFAX and AutoTrack have appeared in the largest Dutch newspaper, Algemeen Dagblad, in a special feature about used car buying in the Netherlands. With a reach of over 3 million readers, the feature was released to educate used car buyers in the country of what things they need to consider when buying a used car.
Click here to see the full feature (Dutch).
An English translation of one of the main topics can be found below.
FEATURE: BIG DATA HELPS THE CAR BUYERS
Anyone looking for a used car runs a risk. After all, how reliable is the information about the condition of the car?
Has the car ever been involved in an accident, declared a total loss or stolen? With the open borders within the EU, this is often difficult to find out. The CARFAX database, however, offers a solution.
Christian Wittmann, Regional Director of CARFAX in Europe, admits: It’s already pretty well organised in the Netherlands. Consumers are already well informed about the past of a car by, among other things, the National Car Pass and the RDW. That gives a lot of certainties when buying a used car. And yet, in some instances, that information is not complete.
If you want to know exactly what has happened to a car in the past, you need to consult a huge, international database. We have them: the world’s largest. We have been advising occasional buyers for more than 30 years. Our database is much greater than that used by the Dutch authorities and organisations. It contains data you won’t find anywhere else: more than a billion reports from more than 90,000 different sources.
Think of maintenance, repairs, APK inspections, recall actions, theft or the activation of an airbag, indicating an accident. But also, for example, the use of a car as a taxi or rental car. In Europe alone, 200 million cars are registered according to CARFAX. If an odometer has been tampered with in Spain, Lithuania or Sweden, this is usually reflected in our database. Cars now travel across all countries in a criss-cross way. In the European Union, with its open borders, this is happening on a massive scale. As a result, knowledge about a car in a single country is of limited value.
Are all cars in the database?
Unfortunately not yet. We work hard to make the database as complete as possible. In Germany, Austria and Switzerland, we are faced with a privacy law that prevents this type of information about a car from being made public. The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is protected there. This is a bad thing because it is precisely from Germany that many cars are brought to the Netherlands.
How do you actually obtain the data on all those cars from all those countries?
We get them from official bodies, but unfortunately, I can’t tell you exactly who those are. We have made agreements about this. But think of insurance companies, ministries, local authorities, police forces, you name it. In the US we have been working closely with the police for years and in Europe, we are doing the same. In addition, in the Netherlands – which is unique – we have access to maintenance and repair data that transcend brand boundaries.
Do consumers often run into a bad bargain?
It’s about what you mean by a bad bargain. In the case of cars, it is mainly the market price that counts. Is the car worth the money that is being asked for? A car can be very bad, but if it has a price of a few hundred euros at the most, it may not be a bad purchase at all. It is then simply offered for sale at market value. In any case, we see that buyers have to be careful. Because there are cars among the range on offer that are not worth the price requested at all. There are high-risk cars for sale, particularly those that have been brought to the Netherlands from abroad.
Where can Dutch consumers find this information from CARFAX?
Quite simply: in the Netherlands, we work exclusively with AutoTrack. So if you’re looking for an occasion there, you can retrieve all the data from our database very easily and free of charge. It’s something AutoTrack clearly distinguishes from its competitors: transparency. AutoTrack was the first in Europe and they are clearly successful with this because AutoTrack has been one of the largest and most used car sites in the Netherlands for many years. And if you find the car of your choice somewhere else, you can always easily request the report on CARFAX.nl.