For quite some time now when you take a car for an ITV the kilometres are recorded and placed on their records. This involves not only them storing it on their computer records but it is also shown on the paperwork given to the owner/driver at the end of the test.
Therefore there is a permanent record of the actual mileage reading for the car held in the official testing stations. This information is also passed onto Tráfico and on the newer Permiso de Circulación it is printed at the bottom as well as stating that the permission is only valid with a current ITV it also states the mileage reading at the last ITV, recording the date and mileage declared at the testing station.
We bring this to your attention so that you can ask to see the permission de circulación when you are proposing buying a second hand car, if you so wish, and then compare the reading and date of the ITV and mileage with that currently shown on the car. It is highly unlikely that the mileage will be the same as no doubt the owner will have at least driven their car home or to the garage to sell! However should for example the ITV have been in let’s say April of 2015 and recorded as 63012 kilometres and you compare this with that shown on the speedometer which shows let’s say 500 or 600 kilometres more, then you do not have a problem as this would be perfectly normal, even if higher dependent on who the owner was and how frequently the car was used and the distances travelled.
If however the Permiso de Circulación showed the last ITV as for example January 2015, with a reading of 59888 and you are looking at the car now and compare the reading to that on the speedometer which shows say for example 55988, then alarm bells should start ringing. Of course there could be a simple explanation for this as the speedometer may have had to have been changed due to a fault and a second-hand one purchased with lower mileage displayed but there are some unscrupulous individuals and indeed garages out there who would think nothing of turning back the reading in order to make a sale and in the hope that the person buying had no knowledge of the new rules. If this should happen then our advice would be not to buy the car or ask to see the relevant paperwork confirming the change of the speedo (checking of course that the registration numbers tie up to the car you are interested in), if this is a genuine case then the person/dealer should have no problems in assisting you by showing you such papers. If they refuse, say there was no factura or give other excuses, then walk away from the car no matter how much you like it.
What do I do if this has happened to me and I discover it now? Well the obvious thing is firstly to visit the person/garage from whom you bought the car and ask for an explanation. If you are not satisfied with the explanation or none is given you are within your rights to ask for your money back or tell the person that you will be denouncing them to the police as this could potentially be a case of fraud. If they refuse your request for a refund then you can denounce them but not only will you have lost your money but the police will be obliged to impound the car as evidence until the case comes to trial and as most people know the legal process over here is extremely slow and can take years…… and you find yourself not only car less but out of pocket too. Please be careful and vigilant when buying a second hand car and always go to somewhere that has a good reputation, is established and who if possible comes highly recommended by others. Never feel pressurised into buying something you don’t really want as you may live to regret it.