Buying a Salvage car? 4 Tips to Help Avoid Odometer Scams

Odometer scams are one of the most significant concerns when buying repairable cars for sale. With the number of odometer rollback cases increasing every year, the need to check the vehicle’s odometer when buying a wrecked car for sale cannot be emphasized enough. One of the reasons why odometer fraud cases are on the rise every year is the limited knowledge about the malpractice and ways to identify odometer rollback. To help spread awareness on this topic, the post lists some ways to avoid odometer scams. Take a look.

1. Check the Odometer

First and foremost, check the car’s odometer that under normal circumstances would gain 12,000 miles every year. Beware of vehicles whose odometer display unbelievably low figures. Some models display an asterisk mark, if the odometer has been tampered with. When examining the wrecked car for sale, look for this mark on the odometer.

2. Get a Detailed car History Report

One of the commandments to buying a repairable car for sale is getting a car history report. Detailed reports provide info about the car’s mileage, number of times the ownership changed hands, title records and accident records. Once you have the car’s history report at your disposal, compare the odometer reading with the numbers mentioned in the maintenance and inspection records and on the odometer. Consider significant deviations as a red flag.

3. Examine the Tires  

Tyres usually last upwards of 25,000 km. You have every reason to be suspicious, if the odometer shows 30,000 km or less but has new tyres. Compare the wheel’s wear and tread with the odometer figures and walk away if the numbers seem too good to be true. Have a look at other parts such as the accelerator, clutch pedal, brake and rugs and make sure the wear and tear corresponds to the odometer reading.

4. Check the Sticker

Whenever a car is inspected, the professional must provide an inspection sticker on the windshield and mention the odometer reading. If the figures from the last inspection (if it was conducted a while ago) mentioned in the sticker are too close to the numbers on the odometer you most probably have a scam on your hands.


The key to getting the most out of your investment decision when buying a repairable car for sale is not taking anything that the owner says at face value. Question anything that seems too good to be true. When it comes to checking the vehicle's mileage and steering clear of odometer frauds, following these tips can go a long way to help you land the best deal the market has to offer. In addition to following these tips, consider checking the car’s interiors and have your guards up if the condition of the upholstery and infotainment devices does not corresponds with the odometer readings.


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