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5 Ways to Detect Odometer Frauds


When you are buying a used vehicle, mileage should be a huge factor in your decision. Apart from determining how well the previous owner took care of the car, it shows how long will you use it and what is its approximate value. Some used vehicle sellers try to rollback odometer writings so as to mislead a buyer and sell at a higher price. So, if buyers want to purchase a used vehicle, they should know 5 ways for detecting this kind of a fraud and what to do to pay for it fairly.

5 Ways for Detecting an Odometer Fraud

  1. Checking mileage by title search. Ask its seller to provide car’s VIN number so that you would request a title search and lookup of a license plate in a couple of minutes. You can do this requesting the DMV (or private companies if you don’t want to interact with the government). For that purpose buyers can use or other companies having access to DMV database. Doing this, buyers don’t violate seller privacy rights, thus ensuring themselves from a fraud;
  2. Using math: 11-12 thousands is an average number of miles an American drives throughout a year. So if this car is 5 years in usage but your seller narrates tales about 30000 miles, you should ask more questions about its exploitation. Even if he used this car only for going to work 10 miles from home, this number is far from the truth;
  3. Discovering seller’s driving habits: Don’t hesitate to ask, where did its past owners work, what is the distance to the next shopping mall, how many times did they use this car. If you discover that this car was used by taxi driver or by police, don’t trust 12000 miles of mileage per year. Use common sense and your experience for knowing whether the seller lies or not;
  4. Observing documents: Another way for knowing vehicle’s odometer readings – to observe it in official documents. You can see the actual mileage on its maintenance record or its certificate of title. While observing maintenance records, you should always check for any gaps in records for knowing whether it was ever used illegally;
  5. Inviting an expert for looking over the car: If the real car mileage is very high, professional can know it without odometer. If you invite a knowledgeable expert from your relatives or friends, he will tell you why you should or shouldn’t rely on sellers’ estimates.

Don’t Rely Only on a Mileage

A lot of people think that the higher mileage, the lower the vehicle’s price. While mileage can be low, the car could withstand three or four accidents with 2 complete restorations. So before you say “Yes, I am ready to buy it” to the car seller, don’t forget requesting a car history check. This way you will know not only its real mileage but all damages and title changes this car withstood. Don’t hesitate to request any information, in this case awareness remains awarding.

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