Last month, I drove from my town of Tampa, FL to Kissimmee, FL, approximately 70 miles, to view a 2001 Mercedes Benz S430. After driving the car I decided it ran and looked good enough to make an offer. While standing in front of this person’s garage, I used my phone to obtain a CARFAX vehicle report for this vehicle and promptly discovered it had last been registered at 210,000 miles. The odometer read a tad over 80,000 miles! Needless to say, I did not buy the vehicle. On my way out of this person’s street, I felt that I had almost been taken for a ride by a crook, as I was sitting in front of his house with $6,000 and could have possibly made a very bad decision.
Once on the road, I dialed the Orange County Sheriff’s Deptartment and was told by the operator that my situation was a “civil matter” and that it would have had to have it’s course through civil court as I would have had to sue this person, etc, etc. [Can] you imagine going home with a 210,000 mile car, worth between $2,500 and $3,000 (on a good day) having paid $6,000 and then find out that your only way to resolve this would have been through civil court at my expense? And that is not the end of it either. I would have had to register the car to my name at a cost of nearly $750 and then pay a court fee of $310 to sue the seller, that is if I took it upon myself without legal representation. This could have snowballed into a huge mess had it not been for a CARFAX vehicle report. I still have both reports, the one for the car I didn’t purchase and the one for the vehicle I did purchase, a low-mile vehicle with an excellent track record verified through CARFAX.