The London Borough of Havering, in 2014, made a list of 10 tips to help you to avoid buying a car with fake service history:
- If the seller has arranged to meet in a residential road, ask why. Do not agree to do the transaction on the roadside;
- If possible take a mechanic or someone who knows about cars who can look over the vehicle or check in a car registrations database;
- Ask the seller if the vehicle has been in an accident – they have a duty to inform you but you must ask (the sale of crashed and repaired vehicles is increasing);
- Ask to see the registration document or log book – the trader should have this document – before the transaction and make sure it is not a fake one;
- If there is a service history, contact the dealer indicated by the service stamps (most main agent stamps will have a contact number);
- Is there any other paperwork, bills or receipts, which would establish the mileage and previous history? – Try to have as much proof as possible as the log book can be false;
- Is there a current MOT/NCT certificate? If so you can check in websites like VOSA website (UK) by inputting the MOT certificate number and the vehicle registration mark to obtain the MOT history (and verify the mileage);
- Check the VIN number (vehicle identity number) to ensure it matches the VIN number on its registration document, also check the VIN plate (normally located in the engine compartment, windscreen or under the driver’s side carpet) for evidence of tamper;
- If you decide to conclude the transaction, we advise you to pay a deposit only to secure the vehicle and enable you to make further checks. A reputable seller will agree to this, and they will provide a receipt which should include the name, address, postcode and telephone number of the seller;
- Consider obtaining a ‘vehicle history check’ with www.cartell.ie before you commit to buy a vehicle for any adverse vehicle history such as reported stolen, insurance write offs, finance outstanding, and recorded mileage of the vehicle for any discrepancies.
If you decide to buy a car, check to see if it has a carandus.com account. Our website offer its members the possibility of storing all their cars’ service history and the possibility to know all their technical data.