According to autoDNA, a leading provider of online vehicle history reports, a 100 km difference in mileage may mean up to 28,5 k PLN of difference in prices of the same model. The newer the car, the bigger the profit when the odometer is clocked.
Odometer rollbacks are the scourge of the used car market in Poland. The Polish Automobile Dealers Association estimates that over 85% of used cars imported to Poland come with odometers rolled back. The situation improved a bit in May 2019 when the legal interpretation of odometer clocking was changed, resulting in such alterations being considered a crime, but the market is still filled with vehicles whose mileage was “reduced” earlier than that. Until last May, the law was simply ineffective; now, it is the sheer scale of import from such countries as Germany that makes it difficult to monitor the cases of clocking odometers before the vehicles are registered in Poland.
The buyers should be on guard because of this. According to the analysis of autoDNA, a 100,000 km of mileage gap between two identical vehicles may result in a significant price difference. For example, in a popular 2014 Volkswagen Passat 2.0 TDI a “correction” of this kind means a 25,800 PLN of price difference, meaning that one “saved” kilometre costs 0,26 PLN. Interestingly, for the same model manufactured in 2006, clocking the odometer by the same 100,000 km “only” results in the price difference of 8,300 PLN. There isn’t much of a difference in the case of the 2008 model, either; in this case, the price gap is 9,100 PLN.
Contrary to what one might expect, odometer rollback may cost much more in the case of newer vehicles. Older vehicles have already significantly lost their value and as a result, the rollback of, say, 100 k km may have less of an impact on the wallet than the same action performed on a vehicle that is only a few years old, says Piotr Sawuła, the co-founder of autoDNA.
The same observations apply to a Volkswagen Golf 1.4 TSI: for a 2014 model, the clocking of 100,000 km increases the price by roughly 14,000 PLN but if the seller does the same with a 2016 model, they will “save” 15,800 PLN. For a Ford Focus, which is one of the most popularly imported vehicles, the same clocking will bring about a difference of 13,100 PLN for year 2014, and 14,000 PLN for year 2016. This is a significant amount of money; in fact, for some sellers it may be significant enough to risk imprisonment. This is why, before you make the purchase, you should always check the information available for the vehicle, including its mileage. You can easily do it in the comfort of your own home; all you need is the VIN number. As for the tools needed, a smartphone or a computer + Internet will do the trick.
Even the report available free of charge allows you to search the database of over 0.5 billion records and see basic information, including the availability of additional reports, which means the country of previous registrations and the scope of additional data available after purchasing the paid report. The free sample is there so you know in advance what you can get when you purchase the full version for several dozen PLN. The lack of photos or records of total loss in the paid report is also important, as it can help you decide to buy or sell the car more easily. We have been observing a growing interest in our reports among car sellers, as they can use them to validate the information contained in their offers. In the case of some reports, such as the one for the Netherlands, the mileage will be provided in our reports so long as the vehicle is entered in the Dutch registers, advises Piotr Sawuła, the co-founder of autoDNA.
AutoDNA is one of the biggest on-line vehicle history report providers in Poland and Europe. AutoDNA Vehicle History Reports provide information about used vehicles and their history. We offer our own car history reports as well as information shared by by the world’s largest providers of vehicle history information. Our reports have been protecting a number of customers from buying second-hand cars with unknown history for years!