When purchasing a used car, you can either work with a dealership or buy directly from a private seller. There are several important benefits to working with a dealer, including the ability to purchase a warranty that protects you if the vehicle has issues.
When you purchase a used car from a private seller, you are taking a much greater risk and you're more susceptible to being the victim of fraud. One of the most common types of fraud you should be on the lookout for when buying a used car from a private seller is odometer fraud.
The following tips will help you determine if odometer fraud has been committed when purchasing a used car:
- Examine the vehicle's service history -- Request to see documentation of the vehicle's service history before purchasing it. In most instances, the mileage will be included on repair receipts provided by the mechanic. If the numbers on these service reports don't match up with the current mileage on the odometer, it's a sign that the odometer was tampered with.
- Inspect the dashboard -- Look for loose or missing screws or scrapes on the dashboard. These indicators don't guarantee that odometer fraud has been committed, but they are certainly warning signs and should arouse your suspicions.
- Ask to have the car inspected by your own mechanic -- You should always do this when purchasing a used vehicle. It helps protect you against buying a lemon, and it will also help you determine whether odometer fraud has been committed. Your mechanic should be able to estimate the mileage based on the wear and tear on the vehicle.
- Insist on seeing a vehicle history report -- You should always do this, regardless of whether you're buying from a dealer or a private seller. A vehicle history report from an agency such as Carfax will give you information on inspections and emissions tests, and this information will help you determine if the mileage on the odometer is accurate.
If you think you may have been the victim of odometer fraud when purchasing a used car, you have rights. Howard Silver has more than 25 years of experience handling these cases, and he'll fight aggressively for your rights every step of the way.
Please contact the Law Office of Howard D. Silver using the form at the right side of the page or call (855) 341-2611 today to schedule your free odometer fraud consultation. Mr. Silver serves clients in Los Angeles, Riverside, Ventura, and San Bernardino Counties and throughout California.