What does clocked mileage mean? Guide to rolled back cars

April 20, 2023 by Zoe Hicks – 2 mins read

When it comes to buying a second-hand car almost everything impacts it’s value.

What does clocked mileage mean?

When it comes to buying a second-hand car almost everything impacts it’s value. One of the most prominent factors being the miles it’s racked up over its lifetime. Unfortunately, you can fake the mileage by simply turning back the odometer (the clock that displays your miles) using specialist tools. Lying about the mileage of your vehicle in order to sell it is illegal under consumer law.

How to spot a clocked car?

It’s actually really easy to spot a clocked car, this is because the miles are recorded each time a vehicle goes for a service or MOT. When buying a car look through the MOT record to make sure there’s no strange gaps or figures like it being lower than the year previous.

You can also check the car’s service history, now this one is a little less reliable in comparison to the MOT record as it’s easy to fake. However, you can check through the history to make sure it matches up with the MOT figures.

Outside of official documents, there’s also the physical side to take note of. Have a walk around the vehicle does it look like it’s traveled many miles? It’s also important to look inside the car, do the seatbelts, steering wheel or seats look worn? We would also always suggest test driving the car as you’ll no doubt be able to pick up on the feel of it and how well it drives compared to its mileage count.

How to check if a car is clocked?

The fastest way to check if a car’s clocked is to get its license plate and put it through a vehicle check online (try out our vehicle report tool here). You’ll get a report back that will show the recorded mileage and also it’ll let you know if any other issues exist, such as theft, failed MOT’s, outstanding finance and more!

How are mileage anomalies are detected?

Anomalies in mileage are becoming increasingly more difficult, especially with digital odometers becoming more prominent. We’ve heard of people rolling back the mileage for the first inspection then setting it back to its original value after to make things seem legal.

The best way to detect an anomaly is by conducting an online vehicle check and to contact the garage that recently serviced the car to see what they had recorded for the mileage.

Could a clocked car be dangerous?

Yes. A clocked car removes the ability to predict if there will be any upcoming issues with the car. The more miles a car does the more prone to issues it becomes. Having a misleading value could leave you in a dangerous financial situation but also if you take your car on a long journey could leave you broken down in dangerous situations.

How does mileage affect value?

The more mileage a car has completed the less it’s worth, this is because of the work a car has put in. They are more prone to faults such as suspension and brake issues, which means it needs to be repaired more often. Often causing the costs of repairs to outweigh the cost of the vehicle initially.

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