AA CAR CARE: Don’t buy a car with a clocked speedo
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Importing a vehicle has never been easier. But how can you guarantee the speedo is a true reflection of the distance travelled?
Buying a used vehicle from Japan
If you’re buying a used vehicle recently imported from Japan, it’s best to look for an “odometer verified” windscreen sticker, as well as an accompanying authorisation certificate which shows that the vehicle has been inspected before it leaves Japan.
The AA conducts odometer inspections on second hand cars before they leave the port with our partners Bordercheck, Japan Export Vehicle Inspection Center (JEVIC) and Jacanna. Look for our “AA Verified” windscreen stickers.
These checks can include:
- Examining all available service records to ensure they match the car's stated odometer reading
- Checking the car's history and comparing it to all other information about the car
- Checking the car's overall condition for signs of wear that are inconsistent with the odometer reading
Buying an import from another country
If the used car that you’re interested in has just entered New Zealand from another country, there is sometimes very little information available about its history. In these instances, it’s worth getting an independent expert to give the vehicle a once-over to assess whether its overall condition matches the number of kilometres it reads.
Before buying a used car, we recommend booking an AA Pre Purchase Vehicle Inspection.
Car repair bills are often unexpected, leaving you out of pocket. A thorough inspection can uncover secrets of a vehicle’s past that you can’t spot yourself, offering some reassurance that you’re buying a reliable car. Visit aa.co.nz/ppi to book an AA Pre Purchase Inspection.
Vehicles already registered and used on NZ roads
If you’re buying a vehicle that’s already registered and on the road in NZ, you can buy an online AA Vehicle History report which informs potential buyers of any discrepancies in the odometer readings, based upon the figures that were recorded during every Warrant of Fitness.
An AA Vehicle History report looks for regular patterns and brings up warnings if something doesn’t quite line up. It highlights any security interest on the vehicle that can be inherited by a new buyer and also lets you know if it has been imported as damaged.
Essentially, you want to make sure the vehicle condition reflects what you would expect for the age and mileage. The newer the vehicle or the lower the kilometres, the less acceptable any defects should be. Visit aa.co.nz/historyreport to buy an AA Vehicle History Report.
AA Motoring recommendations
We recommend that anyone looking to buy a used car visits an AA Preferred Dealer. The AA series of checks on used cars gives drivers peace of mind that the used car they’re interested in buying isn’t hiding anything.
AA Preferred Dealers are trustworthy and will provide you with complete confidence in your used car purchase. Visit the AA website to find one.