Vehicle mileage is often tampered with to artificially inflate the value of a used car. Using complex software, some unscrupulous car dealers will take thousands of miles off the odometer of their used cars. This allows them to sell the vehicles at a higher profit margin. If you want to check out the mileage on a vehicle for free, there are ways to do it.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Computer and Internet
- DMV records
- Inspection stickers
Visit the CARFAX free odometer check page at carfax.com and enter the car's VIN number. You will receive the car's last recorded odometer reading free of charge.
Contact your state Department of Motor Vehicles and request a title search for the vehicle in question. Compare the mileage on the title to the mileage on the odometer. Titles may also be forged, but title information received from the DMV is less likely to be fraudulent.
Look in the car for oil change stickers, registrations or repair receipts that may list the vehicle mileage. Sometimes these items are left on or in the car.
Contact previous car dealers who purchased or sold the vehicle and ask for their odometer readings on the vehicle. Many will gladly help you to establish a relationship with a potential future customer.
Tips and warnings
- Always obtain a complete car report, this lists the vehicle mileage and includes the mileage at major services and oil changes. This is the safest and most secure way to check on mileage.
- Get a free car report through CARFAX or Autocheck to start researching your vehicle.
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