Clocking: is the mileage genuine?

Low mileage on a used car is a strong selling point. But, if the car has been clocked – to hide the car’s true mileage – it won’t be worth the asking price.

What is clocking?

Clocking is the common name for lowering the apparent mileage of a car to falsely increase its value. It is done by physically changing the position of the digits on the milometer, or by reprogramming the display with a computer.

Signs a car might have been clocked

There are hundreds of thousands of cars affected by clocking in the UK. Here are the key signs you might look out for. Remember to ask: is the mileage genuine?

  • If the wear and tear of the car is heavy, then does the mileage look too light?
  • Have pedal rubbers, the gear knob and the steering wheel been changed to remove worn out surfaces?
  • Does mileage on the latest MOT certificate contradict the milometer reading?
  • Does mileage on the service documentation contradict the milometer reading?
  • Check the MOT certificates. The mileage is recorded on all MOT test certificates, so look through them to confirm there are no signs where the mileage is grossly inconsistent.

If you are not satisfied with what you see, just leave it and move on. The next car will be better!

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