The corona restrictions are gradually loosening, mobility is increasing and along with that the car market is slowly picking up speed again. Many people who used to ride a two-wheeler, are now planning to buy a car because of safety reasons. If you are also planning to buy a used car, you should take a close look at the speedometer as the odometer reading is manipulated on average for every third pre-owned car sold. But how do you recognize that and how can you protect yourself?
- The speedometer is manipulated in every third used car sold.
- Don’t always believe when the dealer says it’s a Doctor’s car or a rarely used second car.
- Always verify the price online.
- Check the service booklet for mileage during last service.
- Keep an eye out for exhaust emissions inspection reports and oil change stickers.
- Check for the signs of wear and tear like brake pads, unders car body and repaint status.
- Contact the previous owner to verify the dealer’s claims.
- Always verify the accident report via traffic police.
- Perform physical checks with the help of an expert mechanic or only buy through trustworthy brands.
It seems a real bargain if someone offers a pre-owned car that has an older year of construction but was driven very little. The reason you would usually get for the less driven car is mostly that it belonged to a doctor or it was just a second car, which was usually in the garage. But be careful, because the used car might already have had more kilometers under its belt than it shows.
Such manipulation of the mileage occurs globally with around every third pre-owned car sold. This fraud is worthwhile for used car dealers. The wrong mileage leads to an illegal increase in the value of the vehicle. However, the buyer has to pay the ultimate price bearing the repair and maintenance costs afterward.
How is the speedometer manipulated?
Whether it is a manual or digital, turning the speedometer back is a child’s play as you don’t even have to remove the speedometer. In a way, manipulating the manual speedometer would require more effort than the digital speedometer as one has to manually turn it backward. However, with digital speedometers, a small device is sufficient, which can even be bought quite legally. The manipulation device is simply connected to the diagnostic connector that almost every car has. The software can then be used to set the odometer reading to any mileage within a few seconds.
How can you identify the fraud and protect yourself?
There are some measures you can take to protect yourself from speedometer fraud. The first is to look at the car very closely. One should not only pay attention to the mileage, but also the state of care and, if necessary, only buy a so-called checklist-maintained car. In the service booklet, the mileage is entered by the workshop for each maintenance. If the speedometer was only turned back before the purchase, discrepancies would be recognized here.
It can also make sense to ask the previous owner or dealer about old repair invoices, exhaust emissions inspection reports, oil change stickers. This can also allow conclusions to be drawn about how much a vehicle has actually been driven. You can also get information about previous owners from the pre-owned car dealer and contact them. They can then tell you the mileage at which they sold the car.
Gajendra Jangid, Co-founder & CMO of CARS24, a well known brand that specializes in pre-owned cars, said “Before purchasing any used car, one has to ensure that the car has clean titles, service record with no accident history. All our cars come with a 200 parameter inspection report that provides every detail of the vehicle to the customer. Also, verified pre-owned cars add more value to the purchase since they come with a warranty that protects customers from unforeseen repair costs. Also, a physical examination by an expert along with a test drive is necessary to know the condition of the car”
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If you want to be sure, you can also have a used car check carried out by a third party mechanic. It provides reliable information about the condition of the car. The mileage should always be entered in the purchase contract because if a speedometer fraud is noticed only afterward, you can prove that this has already been done by the seller.