Odometer Tampering And Dodgy Roadworthy Certificates Are Not A Thing Of The Past!

Tampering with a car odometer means much more than a discrepancy between actual mileage and the number that’s shown on the odometer. It is relatively easy to do on older cars with manual odometers. However, tampering with newer, digital odometers is very complex. And maybe that’s why some would think odometer tampering was a thing of the past. Unfortunately, odometer tampering and dodgy roadworthy certificates are not a thing of the past!

We have been in the automotive industry since 1984, ranging from apprentice to master technician, workshop foreman, controller, service advisor and service manager, in numerous premium vehicle businesses. We have built a level of loyalty that in the 21st Century is vital. After all, customer service and care is a point of difference.

We hope we are able to help you out with your needs. Our business is also known as Prepurchase Check.


According to the NSW Police Traffic and Highway Patrol Facebook page, officers from Mt Druitt Highway Patrol and other government authorities targeted a car dealer network where 183 unroadworthy and dangerous motor vehicles were defected “following numerous complaints from the public” to the Department of Fair Trade and to NSW Police.

“The operation targeted dangerous vehicles, odometer reading manipulation and the issuing of unauthorised vehicle inspections,” said NSW Police.

Police and other government agency officials attended a number of car dealerships in Minchinbury on 23 June 2021, where 250 vehicles were inspected.

What Is Odometer Fraud?

Odometer fraud or odometer rollback is something that many car dealerships and individuals selling used cars are, unfortunately, guilty of committing. In fact, there are 1.6 million cars on the road or for sale that likely have odometer rollbacks.

Service NSW’s website gives out some examples of odometer fraud. They include disconnecting the odometer, resetting the odometer, or altering the odometer reading.

How Scammers Tamper The Odometers

In the old days, it was called ‘winding back’ the odometer. Fraudsters would physically pull the odometer out of the vehicle and manually wind the display backwards.

Nowadays, they can still physically alter, change or reset the numbers. Some will also disconnect the odometer, continue to drive the vehicle like nothing’s wrong. When it comes time to sell, they will hook the odometer back up.

Alternatively, an odometer from another vehicle may be used to replace the original.

Odometers can be legally removed or replaced, but the action has to be registered and approved by government authorities.

Why You Shouldn’t Only Trust Roadworthy Certificates

Another thing that you should be wary of is the Roadworthy Certificates of the car. The car looks good to your untrained eyes. And after seeing the Roadworthy Certificate provided, you decide that this is your perfect car. Turns out, you can get that certification for $100ish.

If you’re thinking of buying a used vehicle (especially a private sale because you have no come back) you must go and get a PRE PURCHASE CAR INSPECTION first to ensure there are no surprises after the fact. You can use these to negotiate the price. But more importantly, you can have the peace of mind of any repairs that may be required.

Never trust a vehicle with your money based on the fact that it has a roadworthy certificate. For $250ish you can get a pre-purchase car inspection done on most vehicles which will give you peace of mind.

Hire A Professional Car Technician In Melbourne

We have engaged with many clients for independent, personal car purchase advice. Whilst we are not a CAR BROKER, we have assisted clients with discussions on MAKE/MODEL/YEAR/VERSION of vehicle best suited to their needs, and with low ‘grief’ factors. In some cases, clients, especially repeat clients (and we have many), have asked us to either source a car for them, or assist in the negotiations.

As much as some of us think we’re backyard mechanics, you can’t go past actually getting a used car checked out by a professional to determine whether it is mechanically sound. There’s nothing worse than driving away with your new purchase, only to find that it has an issue that is going to cost you dearly.

And if you want to buy a secondhand car, have a professional inspector like German Precision to do a thorough pre-purchase car inspection in Melbourne to ensure that your dream car is operating properly and not a scam.

If you are looking for the best pre-purchase car inspector in Melbourne, do not hesitate to contact German Precision or Prepurchase Check today!

sources: caradvice.com.au, everlance.com, sydneycriminallawyers.com.au