How to Verify Car Mileage to Avoid Odometer Fraud

Purchasing a used car is definitely a cost-friendly option for enjoying driving in Dubai. But before buying, you need to know some necessary parameters, such as verifying a car’s mileage. It’s necessary because sometimes sellers commit unethical things like odometer rollbacking to get more money than the usual price of the car.

But there’s nothing to worry about. You can always save yourself from fraud by checking the car’s real mileage. In this article, you’ll find four of the best ways to inspect a used car and the penalties for car fraud in the UAE. 

What is Odometer Rollback? 

An odometer not only signifies how far the car has run but also allows you to understand its age. Unfortunately, some fraudsters tamper with the odometer to display a lower mileage than the car has actually driven. This entices the buyers to find the vehicle newer and more valuable.

There are some reasons behind fraudsters rolling back the odometer, such as;

  • Sell a car with excessive wear and tear for a higher price.
  • Avoid disclosing mechanical problems related to high mileage.
  • Bypass manufacturer warranties that have mileage limitations.

Although it sounds profitable and enticing to the seller, the consequences of odometer fraud are severe for both buyers and sellers. If you’re a buyer, you may end up paying more for a car with potentially hidden problems. However, if the sellers get caught tampering with odometers, they’ll have to face hefty fines and even jail time.

Now, let’s see how you can avoid odometer fraud and verify a car’s real mileage.


How to Verify a Used Car’s Mileage in the UAE

There are many good ways to inspect a used vehicle’s real mileage. In this article, we’ve listed the four most useful and easy methods you can apply. 


Examine the Odometer if  Rollbacked

The very first thing you should do while purchasing a used car in UAE is check the odometer. This can save you time when verifying the exact mileage of the car. However, a car of five years of age should usually have an odometer reading of more or less than 50,000 km. 

If you notice a significant difference in the km, try to avoid the deal or verify it in the RTA-approved Vehicle Technical Inspection Centers.

You can also determine it by looking for an asterisk using the numbers on the odometer. In some vehicle models, an asterisk indicates when the number has been changed

Besides, the dashboard exhibit is also an option to examine the odometer’s age and maintenance. Just look carefully to see if there are any missing screws or unusual screws or if the dashboard has been installed inappropriately. If you notice any dispute, consider the car doesn’t have a genuine mileage. 


Vehicle Technical Inspection Centers

If you still have doubts after checking the odometer yourselfthere’s another great option. You can visit the RTA-approved vehicle technical inspection centres. These centres have well-equipped advanced diagnostic tools like Autel and Launch to check the digital odometers. You can easily find the centres in Dubai and all over the UAE. Here are some;

  • Al Qusais Tasjeel
  • Jebel Ali Tasjeel
  • Barsha Tasjeel
  • Hatta Tasjeel
  • Al Warsan Tasjeel


Check the Car’s Service History

Checking the service history of the vehicle is a great option for verifying the mileage. But you should be very careful that the car you’re interested in comes with a service book or has paperwork containing the records of service history. Also, you can verify the odometer’s reading with the service history report for more clearance. 

However, be extra cautious if you’re buying a car from a private seller or dealer because they can tweak the service book information and give you a false report. If you have doubts about the service history and the paperwork, you can directly contact the shop or showroom where the car was serviced. You can also ask the mechanics to verify the service history’s genuineness. 


Car’s Documentation & History Report

While the service history is a valuable tool for verifying a car’s mileage and overall condition, it’s not 100% reliable. As you read in the 2nd point, sellers can play tricks with the service history booklet and paperwork. 

Hence, you should verify the car’s history following these methods;

  1. There should be a steady increase over time in mileage readings in service records. If you notice any inconsistency in the mileage, it could have some issues. 
  2. Verify if the service shops listed in the booklet actually exist. You can do a quick online search to confirm their legitimacy. 
  3. Ask for receipts or invoices from the service records. Make sure the details on the documents match with the service booklet. This will add an extra layer of credibility. 
  4. It’s also recommended to get help from an experienced mechanic who can inspect the car for signs of wear and tear. 
  5. Wear & Tear Consistency with The Odometer

You can easily catch odometer fraud by comparing the meter reading with the overall look and the different parts of the vehicle. If it’s a manual car, carefully inspect the wear and tear around the accelerator, brake pedals, and clutch. 

Also, take a look at the seats, seat belts, door rubbers, and other parts to see if you find any cracks or if the painting has been discoloured. If you have a pretty good experience with cars, it will not be hard to judge the car’s age by inspecting its parts. Remember, if you can judge a car’s age, you can easily get an idea of its average mileage. 


Laws & Penalties for Car Fraud in UAE 

In the UAE, fraud in car sales is a criminal offence under the Federal Decree Law no. 31/2021, Article 451. If anyone (individual or company) commits such a crime, they’ll be punished with imprisonment and fines. However, the severity of these consequences depends on the nature and seriousness of the offence. 

Additionally, the UAE government gives the victims the right to seek financial compensation for damages and mental distress. Hence, you can rest assured that there are laws and orders to protect you from any fraud regarding the purchase of used cars in the UAE. 

You should also know that odometer tampering is illegal in the UAE. If the seller commits such fraud, they will face harsh penalties. Here are some laws to protect car buyers in the UAE.  

How to Report Odometer Fraud in the UAE

Although it’s unexpected if by any chance you get scammed while buying a used car in Dubai, you can file a report against the seller. In the UAE, various government authorities oversee the protection of consumers and their regulations. But before you file the case, make sure you have substantial evidence of mileage tempering. 

Once you have the evidence, visit the police station and file your caseIt’s also recommended that you consult with a lawyer for legal information and other necessary help. You can also contact the Consumer Protection Department. you can call 

Ministry of Economy’s Unified Number

800 1222


UAE is undoubtedly one of the best countries where rules and regulations are always on top. You’ll hardly find people here breaking the rules, but still, every coin has another side. There will always be sick-minded people who commit fraud and scams just to make some extra profit. 

But you can always protect yourself from scams like odometer tempering in used cars. All you need is the right information and proper guidance to protect yourself. If you have good knowledge and experience about cars, you can properly verify a car’s mileage to avoid odometer fraud. We hope this article will help you select your dream car.