When purchasing a used car, it’s important to do your due diligence to ensure that you are getting a fair deal. One of the things that you need to be aware of is odometer fraud. Odometer fraud is when the seller manipulates the mileage on the vehicle to make it seem like it has less wear and tear than it actually does. This can result in you paying more than the car is worth, and could even lead to safety issues down the line. Fortunately, you can use a VIN check to spot odometer fraud.
What Is a VIN Check?
A VIN check is a detailed report that provides information about a vehicle’s history. VIN stands for Vehicle Identification Number, which is a unique 17-character code that is assigned to every vehicle. It will tell you a variety of things about the car, such as its accident history, ownership history, and whether it has been reported stolen.
And, of course, it is also used as a mileage checker as it has all the necessary information about the car’s history. This information can be invaluable when you are considering purchasing a used car.
Tip #1: Check the Mileage History
One of the most important pieces of information you can get from a VIN check is the mileage history of the vehicle. This will show you whether the mileage has been tampered with or not.
If you see any inconsistencies in the mileage history, this could be a sign of odometer fraud. For example, if the mileage suddenly drops off for a period of time and then picks back up again, this could indicate that the odometer was turned back and then turned forward again.
Tip #2: Look for Signs of Wear and Tear
Another way to spot odometer fraud is to look for signs of wear and tear that do not match up with the mileage on the vehicle. For example, if a car has low mileage but has worn out brake pads or a worn-out steering wheel, this could indicate that the car has been driven much more than the odometer suggests. Similarly, if a car has high mileage but appears to be in excellent condition, this could be a sign that the odometer has been tampered with.
Tip #3: Verify the Mileage with Service Records
If you have access to the vehicle’s service records, you can verify the mileage by checking the dates and mileage recorded during each service. If the mileage on the odometer is significantly lower than the one recorded during a service, you should consider not buying this car.
Tip #4: Use a Trusted VIN Check Service
When using a VIN check to spot odometer fraud, it’s important to use a trusted service. There are many online services that claim to provide accurate and comprehensive VIN reports, but not all of them are created equal.
Look for a service that has a good reputation, provides detailed information, and offers a money-back guarantee. If the service is questionable, it may be best to skip it and look for a more reputable one.