How to spot odometer fraud

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The odometer is an instrument that measures the distance traveled by a vehicle. Its figures are one of the key indicators of the condition and value of a used vehicle. A strong impact on prices, however, have led to high levels of odometer fraud, not only in the U.S. but worldwide. 

An odometer reading significantly reflects the vehicle’s condition and influences its future maintenance scheduling, as there are parts s that must be replaced after a specific number of driven miles. Moreover, a lot of general maintenance procedures have to be done regularly, based on odometer figures. So basically, buying a car with inaccurate mileage is not only about your wallet, but also about your safety. Every used car buyer should take all possible preventative measures to avoid any risks, and we’re here to help.

Generally, there are multiple tips and tricks on how to check whether the odometer has been rolled back or replaced. The first way to detect odometer fraud is to compare the mileage on the odometer display with the one stated in vehicle inspection records, as every instance of repair or inspection normally includes notes about mileage. Any inconsistencies in the numbers can give you heads-up. It’s always necessary to pay attention to the vehicle’s wear and tear, for instance, to check if the vehicle still has original tires or not. Also, the condition of gas and brakes have to be consistent with the mileage displayed on the odometer and records. The best way out is to bring the car to a shop for a thorough checkup. 

All the tips mentioned above involve direct contact with the car, and can be an appropriate approach if you’re buying a car from a dealership or private seller. But how can you identify an inaccurate odometer reading at an online auction where you can’t examine the vehicle on your own? You could keep your fingers crossed and buy a car relying on data provided by the seller, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. You can arrange for a pre-sale inspection to get detailed information about the car’s overall condition, more pictures, an expert opinion, etc. Usually, pricing varies depending on the company and type of vehicle. But keep in mind that it may cost quite a bit, especially if you are deciding between several options, as each of them will be billed separately.

A ClearVin vehicle history report is the cheapest and easiest way to get an accurate view into a  vehicle’s mileage. We consolidate the data from a number of government and private sources to provide our customers with the most accurate and relevant information in every report. Our VIN lookup includes all the odometer reading records obtained directly from the NMVTIS and auto auctions, along with other important data for only $8.99. Keep yourself safe and spend your money wisely with a ClearVin report!

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