Clocking: is the mileage genuine?

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Low mileage on a used car is a strong selling point. But, has the vehicle been “Clocked”? – to hide the car’s correct mileage – if so, it won’t be worth the asking price.

What is clocking?

Clocking is the common name for falsely lowering the actual mileage of a car to 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

Be aware; there are hundreds of thousands of vehicles affected by clocking in the UK. Here are the vital signs for which you might look out. Remember to ask: is the mileage genuine?

  • If the wear and tear of the car are substantial, 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 MOT certificates record the mileage, so check to see there are no signs of where the miles covered is grossly inconsistent.

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


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