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The Confessions Of A Crooked Car Dealer. - Car Talk - Nairaland

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The Confessions Of A Crooked Car Dealer. by BizBooks(m): 12:36pm On Oct 10, 2011
I recently overheard a car dealer say the following (I'm paraphrasing now): "If you want to make money in the car business, buy cars with very high mileage because they are cheap. When you get to Nigeria, reduce the mileage and sell it". He went on to give an example of how he once bought a car with 280,000 miles and reduced it to 50,000 miles when it got to Nigeria. I am not kidding.

You may shudder at the thought of a Nigerian doing this to a fellow Nigerian but the truth is that this practice is quite rampant among some people that ship cars to Nigeria. If you look at the ads on Nairaland, you will frequently see 2000 and 2001 model cars with less than 100,000 miles especially the Camrys and Accords. Without even running a VIN report, I can confidently tell you that such mileages are almost certainly pure fabrication. It is nearly impossible to find a 10 year old tokunboh in Nigeria with less than 100,000 miles. Don't get me wrong, such cars exist in the US but they are so expensive that very few dealers can afford to ship them to Nigeria.

To avoid falling victim to these crooked dealers, follow this simple rule of thumb: If you are buying a tokunboh car, multiply the age by 12,000. For instance, if you are buying a 2001 model car, multiply 10 (age) by 12,000 which will give you 120,000 miles. If the car's mileage is significantly less than 120,000 miles, then something may be wrong. So for all those 2001 Camrys you see on NL with 60,000 miles, the figures certainly do not add up.
Re: The Confessions Of A Crooked Car Dealer. by baconline(m): 12:57pm On Oct 10, 2011
I would say multiply by 20k not 12k
Re: The Confessions Of A Crooked Car Dealer. by BizBooks(m): 1:02pm On Oct 10, 2011
paul o:

so hw can i get a toyota sienaa 2001 model from US to Nigeria. (hw much will it cost me in all from your stable?) u can reply me via paul_oni10@yahoo.co.uk i wil be waiting. cheers

I will respond to your request. But this thread is meant to expose the corrupt practices of some dishonest dealers.
Re: The Confessions Of A Crooked Car Dealer. by BizBooks(m): 1:04pm On Oct 10, 2011
baconline:

I would say multiply by 20k not 12k

I used 12,000 as a conservative estimate. 15,000 may be a more accurate figure considering how big the US is and how far they drive to get to anywhere.
Re: The Confessions Of A Crooked Car Dealer. by Siena(m): 1:10pm On Oct 10, 2011
BizBooks, you're correct. And odometer doctoring is mostly fuelled by the buyer. I see many threads on here, whereby a potential buyer posts a request for a 1998 Toyota Camry. So we're talking a 13-year-old car, yet the buyer adds the fact it shouldn't have more than 60,000 miles on the odometer. Very unrealistic.

Of course if you request a 1977 Peugeot 504 GL with 80,000 miles on the clock, that's exactly what you'll get. There are dishonest traders, that are willing to pander to the insane requests by potential buyers.
Re: The Confessions Of A Crooked Car Dealer. by Fhemmmy: 1:22pm On Oct 10, 2011
Siena:

BizBooks, you're correct. And odometer doctoring is mostly fuelled by the buyer. I see many threads on here, whereby a potential buyer posts a request for a 1998 Toyota Camry. So we're talking a 13-year-old car, yet the buyer adds the fact it shouldn't have more than 60,000 miles on the odometer. Very unrealistic.

Of course if you request a 1977 Peugeot 504 GL with 80,000 miles on the clock, that's exactly what you'll get. There are dishonest traders, that are willing to pander to the insane requests by potential buyers.


That is not even a 13 year old ride, cos remember that the ride is always released the previous year in most cases, so in this case, you actually looking at a 13.5 years of age ride.

15,000 Average is actually the mileage driven in a year on a road that has no malaria
Re: The Confessions Of A Crooked Car Dealer. by BizBooks(m): 1:26pm On Oct 10, 2011
Siena:

BizBooks, you're correct. And odometer doctoring is mostly fuelled by the buyer. I see many threads on here, whereby a potential buyer posts a request for a 1998 Toyota Camry. So we're talking a 13-year-old car, yet the buyer adds the fact it shouldn't have more than 60,000 miles on the odometer. Very unrealistic.


You are right. Some dealers have realized that buyers are highly interested in low mileage. So they are giving them what they want by hook or crook.
Re: The Confessions Of A Crooked Car Dealer. by Fhemmmy: 1:30pm On Oct 10, 2011
BizBooks:

You are right. Some dealers have realized that buyers are highly interested in low mileage. So they are giving them what they want by hook or crook.

Very true, but the dealer could decide to be on the other side of the business and do the right thing . . . let the buyer know what they are buying.

Dont get me wrong oh, sometimes, even the dealer cant know everything about a particular ride, but honesty always have its way of making the dealer be on top
Re: The Confessions Of A Crooked Car Dealer. by debosky(m): 1:33pm On Oct 10, 2011
So people still buy cars without doing VIN checks on the mileage first?

I can imagine people who don't have the means to do so and are desperate, but when you are spending hundreds of thousands or even millions of naira on a car, why wouldn't you do a VIN check to confirm?

The buyers and sellers deserve themselves in these cases - you want a good product at an unrealistic price so the seller gives you want you want, PLUS you don't do the necessary checks before hand.
Re: The Confessions Of A Crooked Car Dealer. by BizBooks(m): 1:57pm On Oct 10, 2011
debosky:

So people still buy cars without doing VIN checks on the mileage first?
,

You and I know about VIN checks because we are in the business. Most first time buyers do not know what a VIN is not to talk of a VIN report. Moreover, it is now very rare to see a car advertized on NL with the VIN included. So car dealers are taking full advantage of those that know very little.
Re: The Confessions Of A Crooked Car Dealer. by Fhemmmy: 2:05pm On Oct 10, 2011
BizBooks:

You and I know about VIN checks because we are in the business. Most first time buyers do not know what a VIN is not to talk of a VIN report. Moreover, it is now very rare to see a car advertized on NL with the VIN included. So car dealers are taking full advantage of those that know very little.

Even VIN Check has its own flaws too . . . . . .There are so many things that VIN Check do not report, however, it is a good thing to be aware of . . .I think the most important thing here is honesty
Cos a dealer that knows that a VIN report is not telling the truth about the state of the ride, would he tell the buyer the truth or let the buyer blv whatever the VIN reads?
Re: The Confessions Of A Crooked Car Dealer. by BizBooks(m): 2:10pm On Oct 10, 2011
Fhemmmy:

Even VIN Check has its own flaws too . . . . . .

Yes VIN reports have their own flaws. But they usually provide an accurate reflection of a car's mileage when available.
Re: The Confessions Of A Crooked Car Dealer. by debosky(m): 2:16pm On Oct 10, 2011
Fhemmmy:

Even VIN Check has its own flaws too . . . . . .There are so many things that VIN Check do not report, however, it is a good thing to be aware of . . .I think the most important thing here is honesty
Cos a dealer that knows that a VIN report is not telling the truth about the state of the ride, would he tell the buyer the truth or let the buyer blv whatever the VIN reads?


I agree with you, but there has to be a starting point - if you don't bother to do any checks and rely completely on the dealer's honesty you are more likely than not to get into problems.

When buyers realise that the sellers are also interested in checking details on the car, there is less room for deception. Ultimately you hope both parties come with clean intentions and aren't trying to defraud each other.
Re: The Confessions Of A Crooked Car Dealer. by Fhemmmy: 2:28pm On Oct 10, 2011
BizBooks:

Yes VIN reports have their own flaws. But they usually provide an accurate reflection of a car's mileage when available.

That is the buzz word right there . . . .
What will be reported if a man uses a Car for taxi and we both know how much mileage would be on such and before the renewal, he changed the mileage to something lower . . . . .
What do you think the VIN report will show, remember the report will be from what is reported and not auto
Re: The Confessions Of A Crooked Car Dealer. by Fhemmmy: 2:30pm On Oct 10, 2011
debosky:

I agree with you, but there has to be a starting point - if you don't bother to do any checks and rely completely on the dealer's honesty you are more likely than not to get into problems.

When buyers realise that the sellers are also interested in checking details on the car, there is less room for deception. Ultimately you hope both parties come with clean intentions and aren't trying to defraud each other.

Chief, we are on same page, i will never discourage a buyer from checking the VIN report oh . . . I am only saying though they will check the report, we as a dealer still need to be honest as well in addition to the VIN report

However, i do agree that sometimes, some of the buyers are just impossible.
Re: The Confessions Of A Crooked Car Dealer. by BizBooks(m): 2:39pm On Oct 10, 2011
Fhemmmy:

That is the buzz word right there . . . .
What will be reported if a man uses a Car for taxi and we both know how much mileage would be on such and before the renewal, he changed the mileage to something lower . . . . .
What do you think the VIN report will show, remember the report will be from what is reported and not auto


Baba Fhemmmy,

You forgot that AutoCheck and Carfax do not rely on the owner of a car for the mileage reading. Most times, they get them from Auto Repair Shops, Motor Vehicle Departments, Police Reports and other governmental agencies. So if you report a lower mileage, at some point, it may be found out. Remember, odometer is only supposed to go up and never down. If it ever goes down, it will be flagged as "Odometer Rollback" and that will stay with the car forever.

Imagine Carfax and Autocheck tracking a car's odometer as follows:

2005 - 15,000 miles
2006 - 30,000 miles
2007 - 50,000 miles

And then in 2008, the owner goes to Motor Vehicle and reports the odometer as 40,000 miles. Carfax and Autocheck will now record the mileage as follows:

2005 - 15,000 miles
2006 - 30,000 miles
2007 - 50,000 miles
2008 - 40,000 miles (Possible Odometer Rollback)
Re: The Confessions Of A Crooked Car Dealer. by chaircover: 2:46pm On Oct 10, 2011
.
Re: The Confessions Of A Crooked Car Dealer. by Fhemmmy: 2:49pm On Oct 10, 2011
BizBooks:

Baba Fhemmmy,

You forgot that AutoCheck and Carfax do not rely on the owner of a car for the mileage reading. Most times, they get them from Auto Repair Shops, Motor Vehicle Departments, Police Reports and other governmental agencies. So if you report a lower mileage, at some point, it may be found out. Remember, odometer is only supposed to go up and never down. If it ever goes down, it will be flagged as "Odometer Rollback" and that will stay with the car forever.

Imagine Carfax and Autocheck tracking a car's odometer as follows:

2005 - 15,000 miles
2006 - 30,000 miles
2007 - 50,000 miles

And then in 2008, the owner goes to Motor Vehicle and reports the odometer as 40,000 miles. Carfax and Autocheck will now record the mileage as follows:

2005 - 15,000 miles
2006 - 30,000 miles
2007 - 50,000 miles
2008 - 40,000 miles (Possible Odometer Rollback)



Chief . . . You dont get what i am saying.

So say in 2000 June 10 you were at any of those places you have mentioned and you reported 100K Miles.

A ride used as a cab would have pulled another 50K within 2 months and before you went to workshop, MOT or police need for anything, you have doctored the new 50K to 10K Miles, tell me how they would find out . . . . . .

Again, please note that i am not advocating for people not to check VIN report oh . . we just learning
Re: The Confessions Of A Crooked Car Dealer. by Fhemmmy: 2:51pm On Oct 10, 2011
chaircover:

This is 2011 and I would have thought that there must be a way of finding out the real history of the car so customers are not ripped off.

I know that when I take my bm for service at any of their garages, they put my key into a reader thing which is linked up to their computer and it tells them the mileage, when the car was last serviced, what needs doing at this service etc. I am not sure if this is a universal thing i.e other cars have this facility but it will be a first step in working out the real history of a car.

A long time ago someone told me that checking how worn the pedals and the drivers seat of a car is will give you a good indication of mileage.

Lol . . that is a funny and a new one, never heard of that before
Re: The Confessions Of A Crooked Car Dealer. by chaircover: 2:54pm On Oct 10, 2011
.
Re: The Confessions Of A Crooked Car Dealer. by BizBooks(m): 3:08pm On Oct 10, 2011
chaircover:

I know that when I take my bm for service at any of their garages, they put my key into a reader thing which is linked up to their computer and it tells them the mileage, when the car was last serviced, what needs doing at this service etc.

That is one of the points I was trying to make in response to Fhemmmy. If you go to any professional auto workshop, the first thing they will do is to turn on your ignition and record your car's mileage. Autocheck and Carfax rely a lot on such records.
Re: The Confessions Of A Crooked Car Dealer. by debosky(m): 3:11pm On Oct 10, 2011
chaircover:

Ha dont laugh o! The person that told me this knew his onions when it comes to cars. Why would the leather seat on a car thats only done 50k be all frayed and the pedal worn off?

Driving with metal boots and big, unstable, heat producing bakassi. grin grin
Re: The Confessions Of A Crooked Car Dealer. by chaircover: 3:14pm On Oct 10, 2011
,
Re: The Confessions Of A Crooked Car Dealer. by Fhemmmy: 3:15pm On Oct 10, 2011
debosky:

Driving with metal boots and big, unstable, heat producing bakassi. grin grin

This one pas me oh
Re: The Confessions Of A Crooked Car Dealer. by cretin: 3:49pm On Oct 10, 2011
the auto/vin report sometimes even tells you where the car was shipped to.
ie car shipped to benin republic
cos the duty is lower, yet the dealers will claim its fresh toks direct to naija, or someone buys a fresh toks in 2007, drives it till 2010 and then brushes it up, takes out the plate number and puts it in the market again as a fresh toks!!!, this is very very common, but a vin check will reveal all that info,

i know how many nairalander/folks i have saved from buying a bad car from my vincheck service.

link below.

http://www.nairaland.com/nigeria/topic-655107.512.html#msg9308090
Re: The Confessions Of A Crooked Car Dealer. by calculusx(m): 4:11pm On Oct 10, 2011
BizBooks:

I recently overheard a car dealer say the following (I'm paraphrasing now): "If you want to make money in the car business, buy cars with very high mileage because they are cheap. When you get to Nigeria, reduce the mileage and sell it". He went on to give an example of how he once bought a car with 280,000 miles and reduced it to 50,000 miles when it got to Nigeria. I am not kidding.

You may shudder at the thought of a Nigerian doing this to a fellow Nigerian but the truth is that this practice is quite rampant among some people that ship cars to Nigeria. If you look at the ads on Nairaland, you will frequently see 2000 and 2001 model cars with less than 100,000 miles especially the Camrys and Accords. Without even running a VIN report, I can confidently tell you that such mileages are almost certainly pure fabrication. It is nearly impossible to find a 10 year old tokunboh in Nigeria with less than 100,000 miles. Don't get me wrong, such cars exist in the US but they are so expensive that very few dealers can afford to ship them to Nigeria.

To avoid falling victim to these crooked dealers, follow this simple rule of thumb: If you are buying a tokunboh car, multiply the age by 12,000. For instance, if you are buying a 2001 model car, multiply 10 (age) by 12,000 which will give you 120,000 miles. If the car's mileage is significantly less than 120,000 miles, then something may be wrong. So for all those 2001 Camrys you see on NL with 60,000 miles, the figures certainly do not add up.


There is possibility of getting a 1999 Car with a mileage lower than 100,000 but it doesn't come cheap. I wish all buyers are aware of the does and don'ts before purchasing any Car but 90% of Nigerians buy Cars that fit within their budget and you having a Clean Title and Accident free Cars will be forced to sell your Car at a loss or at cost price. Except for few buyers that knows what they want,irrespective of the price, they will buy. Examples below

http://www.nairaland.com/nigeria?topic=650805.msg8245336#msg8245336

http://www.nairaland.com/nigeria?topic=600119.msg7831830#msg7831830

http://www.nairaland.com/nigeria/topic-768118.0.html#msg9216964
Re: The Confessions Of A Crooked Car Dealer. by chines4(m): 4:13pm On Oct 10, 2011
VIN report, How many everyday car buyer in Nigeria will even think of getting a VIN report on a car before purchase. Bros we still rely so much on our eyes and our mechanics(Not minding that they will prefer not too sound a car for you, so that you will always come for repairs). beside a lot of cars in Nigeria are bought in Cotonu, and there the VIN check is the vehicle that your looking at, and the seller that is busy showing you all the options that the car came with.
Re: The Confessions Of A Crooked Car Dealer. by r231(m): 4:23pm On Oct 10, 2011
debosky:

Driving with metal boots and big, unstable, heat producing bakassi. grin grin

Lol grin grin grin grin
Re: The Confessions Of A Crooked Car Dealer. by calculusx(m): 4:27pm On Oct 10, 2011
chines4:

VIN report, How many everyday car buyer in Nigeria will even think of getting a VIN report on a car before purchase. Bros we still rely so much on our eyes and our mechanics(Not minding that they will prefer not too sound a car for you, so that you will always come for repairs). beside a lot of cars in Nigeria are bought in Cotonu, and there the VIN check is the vehicle that your looking at, and the seller that is busy showing you all the options that the car came with.
  grin grin grin shocked shocked shocked

Everything still boils down to buyer looking for a cheap car and they never remember doing Vin check when they get to Cotonou. One mistake buyers make is relying solely on what their mechanic say where Buy or Don't buy. If a seller decided not to give the mechanic what he requested for {egunje} he will tell the buyer "don't buy" forgetting the mechanic will want them to buy what he can still work on after purchase to make some money out of the buyer. Also as you have rightly said "the VIN check is the vehicle they are looking at" i dey laugh oooo
Re: The Confessions Of A Crooked Car Dealer. by usbcable(m): 5:28pm On Oct 10, 2011
seem some folks are catching the opportunity to advertise their respective services grin grin

is it easier to manipulate the mileage of cars bought brand new In Nigeria.
Re: The Confessions Of A Crooked Car Dealer. by Cargoed: 5:32pm On Oct 10, 2011
@USBcable why not grin cheesy

Anyway why will you want to manipulate a newcars mileage. If its new then it should be less than 3k miles.
Re: The Confessions Of A Crooked Car Dealer. by alanbolo(m): 6:12pm On Oct 10, 2011
@ Fhemmy,  I understand ur concern about the VIN check.  Here in NJ / NYC, we have dealers who ran the vin and tamper with the odometer to bring it down a bit more to what the VIN check reported last.   

I ran a MDX vin recently and what was reported there is totally not corresponding to what Acura have in their database -  and always oil change / tune-ups at the dealer.  VIN is good to check reported cases and not necessarily the TRUE mileage.

Have we noticed that most of our road accident with head on collisions have no Air-Bag deployed at accident time?  Bag-less SRS or

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