Part 5 - Protecting Yourself

Story by Ming Jie
18 Apr 2010
 

Self Protection

We understand that the volume of cars that moves in and out of pre-owned car dealers inventory affects their profit margin. Although most companies can be trusted, some do employ unscrupulous ways to get you to sign on the dotted line just so that they can earn that extra few dollars.


Odometer tampering
"Low Mileage", "Family's second car, seldom used". Heard of such claims before? Browse through a used car classifieds and these phrases will probably appear once in every 4 to 5 car. Think logically. Will there be so many families capable of owning second car? With such high car prices, will someone buy a car and leave it at home most of the time?

It is all too common to see a pre-owned car at "34,000km" being driven over again into workshop for repairs typically seen in a high mileage car.

Odometer tampering is something that is very real and present in current pre-owned dealerships. Therefore, it is always advised to buy pre-owned cars that comes with full service records that will not only tell you if the car has been properly maintained but also to ascertain the true mileage of the car.

If such records are not available, your next best bet would be to judge from the age of the car. Taking the average mileage of 20,000km that Singaporeans clock yearly, multiply that by the age and you get a rough estimate of what the mileage should be.

Check the mileage against your inspection of the bodywork and interiors. A worn out interior inadvertently points to high usage. If the claimed mileage was said to be "27,000km" for a 3-year-old car, do you think this is an honest claim?