According to a recent study, the risks of acquiring a used car with a tampered meter are three times higher when importing.
Tampered meters are a real scourge: in France, one second-hand car out of twelve is affected by this fraud, but the risks of acquiring a vehicle equipped with a tampered meter are higher when it comes to a car imported from abroad. Fraudsters take advantage of the lack of monitoring of cross-border transactions in Europe to act with complete impunity.
A recent study, carried out in 14 European countries by the used vehicle history data specialist carVertical, indicates that cars imported into France have almost three times more likely to have a meter tampered with than vehicles originating in France.
Indeed, the French are fond of imports when it comes to buying a used car: only 35.8% of vehicles sold in France have spent their entire life cycle in France, while 64.2% was imported from abroad. This phenomenon is explained by the price level of used cars which is higher there, while our neighbors offer vehicles at more attractive prices.
According to data from the carVertical study, 8% of cars in circulation in France have had their meter tampered with. Admittedly, some Eastern European countries such as Latvia have a share of trafficked vehicles exceeding 20%, but the risk of being the victim of a scam in France remains high. Of all the cars imported into France, 10.4% have a modified mileage, ie a risk three times greater than the rate of tampered cars sold locally (3.7%).
Imported cars, especially those from countries like Germany, are generally perceived as being more reliable, which encourages buyers to trust used vehicle sellers. And this is where the trap closes: “It is very difficult to control the quality of used cars internationally, because countries have different laws regarding odometer fraud. Because countries don’t exchange car information, once a vehicle is exported, its history starts over – that’s when the mileage is changed, almost tripling the risk of ending up with a new one. car with a tampered meter compared to a car bought locally »says Matas Buzelis, Expert in the automotive sector and Communication Manager at carVertical.
Buy a car with fake mileage can cause a lot of problems to its new owner: in fact, it is impossible to know precisely the mileage of the parts of the car, such as the timing belt for example, which must be replaced every 100,000 to 150,000 km. If the replacement is late due to wrong mileage, the belt may break and lead to engine failure.
In addition, cars with higher mileage are more prone to breakdowns, not to mention occupant safety risks, and difficulty in resale. In the end, when you thought you were getting a deal, you will have to pay much more than expected…
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