One of the most important factors when buying a used car in UAE, is the number of kilometers on the Odometer. The odometer can give valuable insight on how a particular car has been driven and how well it has been looked after, influencing directly on the price, and life expectancy of the vehicle.
Unfortunately, due to the importance of the number of kilometers on a vehicle and how greatly it effects the sale price, odometer rollback is one of the most common trick used by used car sellers to hike up a vehicle’s price. It gives the false impression to the buyer that the vehicle is less used and would be in need of fewer repairs in the future, motivating the buyer to make a higher offer.
Fortunately, there are a number of steps that you can follow to detect an odometer rollback fraud and avoid being misled by an auto dealer or a used car seller.
1. Ask for detailed Service History
By asking the car owner for a detailed service history of the vehicle you can check the exact number of kilometers the car has been driven every time it was taken in for service. The kilometers is logged in by the service provider on a regular basis and any discrepancies can be easily noticed.
2. Check the vehicle condition
Sometimes its not possible to get the full detailed service history of a car, specially if the previous owner has used multiple third party workshops to maintain the car. In that case you will have to analyze and check the vehicle thoroughly to make sure that the number of kilometers on the odometer are actually genuine.
Check brake and gas pedals
To check this first you have to observe the car’s interior wear and tear, especially around the floor mats and on the brake and gas pedals.
If you see excessive wear on the brake and gas pedals and the kilometers on the odometer are shown less than average for the number of years the car has been in use, than this can be indication that the odometer might have been tampered with.
Check the depth of tread on the tyres
On average, it is recommended to replace the tyres of a car every 25000 km, so if you are planning to buy a car that is well under 25000 km but the owner has already replaced the original tyres, than that is a cause for alarm.
If the original tyres are still in place, you can check the tread depth of the tyres to determine the number of kilometers the car has actually driven. For a car that has been driven 25000 km or less, the tread should be deeper than 1.587mm. You can ask a mechanic to check this with a tread depth gauge or use a coin to do this yourself.
3. Get the vehicle inspected by a mechanic
At times even after doing all the checks successfully, you still have a feeling that something is not right with the vehicle that you are going to purchase. In this scenario, it is always better to trust your instincts and get professional help from a mechanic.
An experienced mechanic can test the vehicle inside out using tools and equipment that you won’t have access to and would be able to detect any tampering done to the odometer.
And if everything comes out to be clear than you will have the peace of mind that you have got a genuine car with an authentic service history and correct mileage.