Experienced car fraudster, who have sold many cars is very clever and can deceive even someone who knows autos very well. They sell car with fake service books, retract odometer so the mileage appears to be credible or hide collision effects. A good way to prevent this from happening to us is to verify VIN – thanks to this we will know the past of the car as it was.
Decoding VIN – how can it help?
Sellers who do not want to get rid of a car in honest way frequently use very sophisticated methods to make the car look like it is worth more than in reality. The most frequent „sins” of unfair sellers are:
• Odometer retraction, both in the case of newer cars (to increase their market value) as well as in older cars (to quickly sell them).
Change of certain parts in older cars in order to hide high mileage (e.g. Cover on pedals or steering wheel).
Small repairs that hide previous collisions (change of bumper, fender painting).
Fake service book is not rare and in addition easy to do. Service books can be bought on the internet for several dozen zlotys in various languages. Fake rubber stamp to fill in the book also costs little.
Importing a car from the UK and selling it as imported from Germany. Since people are likely to buy vehicles previously used on good German roads rather than converted cars from England, it is easy to be ripped off. All you have to do is register the car on yourself, convert it from LHD to RHD and obtain a document confirming it is from Germany.
• Importing a damaged car from Germany, registering it on yourself and selling after a few months as a price bargain.
VIN verification will tell you the truth
As you see from examples above you have to really watch out as frauds are commonplace for private seller, used cars dealers and importers of used cars. It is best to look for a used car with someone who will know what to ask and what details are important when inspecting a car. But also helpful will be for sure VIN verification. Just like from a disease diagnosis made by a doctor we can read a lot about the patient itself (beginning from year of birth through place of residence to history of diseases and treatment), by knowing VIN we can deduct a history of a given car.
What exactly does VIN decoding do?
By VIN decoding you receive all the most important information about a car you intend to buy. First set of data is basic information about car – OEM, type of chassis, model, fuel type, model year, engine capacity, whether it is intended for LHD or RHD etc. By looking at LHD or RHD we can easily check whether we have encountered a car form England converted for driving in mainland Europe.
Later on we have among other odometer history – all consecutive odometer readings done during e.g. regular technical inspection. Here you can look for clues whether a car has retracted mileage. Sometimes this is easily seen (like when the next odometer reading is lower than the previous one) and sometimes we can conclude that e.g. If a car has clocked in 100 000 kilometres in the first 5 years and for the next two only 5000 kilometres, which is very suspicious.
By checking VIN number we can also find out whether the car had any reported total loss or if chassis repairs were done in the past. Reports concerning VIN also include information about whether the car had been stolen.
VIN verification also brings useful information when it comes to car equipment. We can know what color of upholstery should there be, glasses, bars, paint, fenders, mirrors, number of air bags, whether the mirrors are heated and even what audio and navigation system (if any) a car should have. Unfair sellers who sell cars after severe accidents, usually repair them as cheap as possible and instead of original parts in line with car specification, use replacement parts. By knowing what equipment a car not involved in a accident should have, we can easily reveal a fraud seller.