Car Clocking – has my new car been altered?

Car Clocking is becoming more common and as many of us are turning to buying a second hand car we worry about the mileage, is it correct or has it been as they call it in the trade ‘clocked’! There are a number of tell-tale signs that you will be able to spot to make sure that the mileage you think the vehicle has done is true. Surprisingly, clocking the mileage on a car isn’t illegal however the seller is legally obliged to tell the buyer that the mileage is true and hasn’t been altered.

So what is ‘clocking’

Clocking the mileage on a car has been around for donkey’s years with the seller winding back the mileage to make the car more appealing to a buyer. A vehicle with fewer miles on the clock will sell better than a high mileage and could potentially add hundreds of pounds to the asking price.Cars today are mainly digital, however the crooks have found a way to work around the mileage and it can still be altered. Altering the mileage on cars was once prevalent with dealers but now, due to stricter penalties and the increased risk; it’s no longer the case. It’s more likely that today’s crooks are more likely to sell you the car via private sale. Most cars are able to be tampered with due to the modern equipment and software that is readily available.In the UK a car doesn’t need an MOT for the first three years so there is no mileage trail, however if the car has been serviced during the first three years there is likely to be a recording in the service history of the car. At every service – usually every 12months or 12,000 miles the mileage should have been recorded. This will show how far the car has travelled. Ask to see the service book, is it new or doctored? You do have to trust your own judgement when buying a second hand car no matter how much the car is……………… if there is anything looking odd for instance – a tatty interior with only 35,000 miles on the clock this should set those alarm bells ringing.

So how do you spot a ‘clocked’ car?

 When you are buying a used car it’s important that you are diligent and make those extra checks…
  1. Use search engines to check a sellers contact details (If it’s a dealer)
  2. Be wary in dealing with a seller who wants to meet you in a car park!
  3. Don’t be fooled by fake email addresses – ask them to email you the car’s history
  4. Check with the DVSA site for the car MOT history which will confirm mileage from last test
  5. For a small fee (£14.99) you can obtain an instant vehicle check from the RAC
If you are happy with the car before parting with your hard earned money – ask to see service receipts. Take a note of the mileage when you first see the car, a dealer could return the mileage to the original once the car has been reserved.If you suspect that the mileage on your new car has been altered, you should inform your local Trading Standards office, you should not attempt to sell it on! You would be entitled to a full refund according to the Consumer Rights Act 2015. As a buyer you are also protected by the 2006 Fraud Act. This is applicable to both dealers and private sellers.If your new car is due a service or MOT – please contact our reception on 0161 339 5354 and ask for Nicola, our general manager……………