CARFAX Europe Glossary - Different Units for Meter Readings

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Different units for meter reading

This phrase is used to describe a situation involving a used vehicle that has been exported from a country with a different unit of measurement for distance traveled. A typical example is when used cars are exported from the U.S. and imported into Europe. In the time spent in the United States, most vehicles’ odometers record the distance a vehicle has been driven in miles. Sometimes when the vehicle is exported from the U.S. and imported into Europe, the odometer is altered to display the distance traveled in the local unit of measurement: kilometers.

When reviewing the vehicle’s history, there could be a mixture of different units measuring the vehicle’s mileage. This can be confusing and perhaps alert a potential buyer to odometer manipulation. This is not necessarily automatically a case of fraud, but buyers should beware that odometer rollback is one of the most common forms of fraud in the used car market.

Sellers choosing to update the meter reading to kilometers can manually adjust the numbers displayed by the meter. While the correct conversion for 1 mile is 1.61 kilometers, sometimes mistakes can be made or the wrong number is chosen on purpose, to help sell the car for a better price. The importation of a vehicle using different units for meter readings provides the perfect opportunity to commit this type of fraud without a buyer knowing it.

Because of this, especially in the case of an imported vehicle from the U.S., it is of great importance to check the vehicle history and to check the mileage records. Being aware of the possibility of different units for odometer reading and ensuring the conversion is accurate will help you avoid being mislead. It’s recommended to verify the mileage of a vehicle with the use of a CARFAX Vehicle History Report and a trained mechanic.