Buying a used car is tough enough without having to worry about if the odometer reading is actually the true mileage on the vehicle you are about to purchase. So what can you do to ensure that the car you are buying actually has the mileage the seller is claiming?
If you are suspicious, the first thing you can do is ask to see to see the title of the car. Examine the title to ensure that the odometer reading matches with what you would expect to see on the title. You should be extremely cautious of any title where the mileage has been obscured in some manner. Maintenance records are also a good place to check for accurate odometer readings. All repairs should be accompanied by an odometer reading and if the owner has kept accurate records of the work done on the vehicle it should be easy to compare the current mileage to those records.
A typical car is driven anywhere from 10,000 to 15,000 miles a year. A ten-year old car should have roughly 100,000 to 150,000 miles on it. Any strange discrepancies in these numbers should be questioned. Not all owners drive their cars that much but you should be wary if the math doesn’t add up.
If the car has under 20,000 miles on it you can check wear and tear on the brakes and tires. Excessive wear could indicate that perhaps the odometer has been turned back at some point. If you think the car has overly excessive wear make sure you have it inspected prior to purchase by a reputable mechanic.
Lastly, you should also obtain a free car history report to check for any differences in the odometer reading. Not only does this report show the history of the vehicle but it is good policy to check for any accidents as well.