Am I paying too much for this car? 90% of vehicle buyers ask this question in order to negotiate with a seller and ask for a lower price. The first thing they look at is vehicle’s odometer readings. Knowing that higher mileage lowers market price of their vehicles, sellers have learned how to increase this price by simply rolling odometer back. If you don’t want to invite experienced specialist to detect car fraud, you should learn how to check validity of odometer’s data yourself. And here are the 4 simple ways how you can deal with that.
Detecting Odometer Fraud:
The first thing you should look at before estimating true mileage is car’s age. An average American vehicle drives 12000 miles per year, so multiplying this number by real age of vehicle, you obtain the number which should stay close to the one reported by odometer. If the reported number stays much lower, you should ask your seller to explain, why this car was so rarely used. But if this number stays very close or even higher, you shouldn’t relax. The vehicle could be used very heavily and there are other, more precise ways to know true mileage:
- Request a history check report by VIN: Every time when DMV provides Car history check, its specialists record odometer readings and check whether they seem valid. When you request car information from reputable sources like FAXVIN, these sources contact the DMV database and report its data in the form of straightforward report. These reports always contain odometer readings so if difference between reported and real estimates stays huge, don’t trust this seller;
- Ask about the last time when oil was changed: Inside any vehicle you can see a sticker, revealing mileage during the last time when oil was changed. This will not help if oil was changed half a year ago but if this difference stays lover, then there should be no huge difference;
- Check wheels and interior: Sometimes even details of its interior can reveal an odometer fraud. If sellers reveal that the mileage stays pretty low like 15000 miles but the car doesn’t have its original tires, it is not a good sign. You also shouldn’t believe low mileage if some details of a car seem shabby and heavily worn out
What if there is no Evidence of Odometer Fraud?
Odometer fraud is a strictly punished activity. Even if sellers really want to do something like that, they think twice before changing any number in odometer estimates. Anyway, you shouldn’t restrict yourself only to a single criterion. VIN can be modified, all details – replaced, and this car can be stolen so that nobody knows it’s true mileage. Also take into account that even having a low mileage, the vehicle which outlived any damages by water or any accident, cannot sell at a premium. And never forget to check the ownership history as if this car was ever used by police or a taxi driver, you cannot rely on any of its estimates.