‘Car Clocking’ is the act of winding back a cars odometer, this then gives off the appearance that the vehicle has done less mileage than it really has. Now if you’re like me, you’re probably thinking “Is it even possible to clock a modern vehicle, It has a digital odometer?”
The short answer to that question is, Yes, it is possible, legal, cheap and easy.
In the UK It is legal to clock a vehicle yourself or by using a ‘Mileage correction service’, however it is illegal to sell it on without telling the buyer it’s clocked (but that doesn’t stop some sellers).
Why is clocking still happening?
Because it’s legal and it deceives potential buyers into thinking the vehicle is worth more money than it really is. It’s a well-known fact that “Low mileage” vehicles sell for more money.
The real question you should be asking yourself is, Would you knowingly buy a clocked vehicle?
The obvious answer to that question should be NO, mainly because It’s very difficult to verify the true mileage of a clocked vehicle, so you could be buying a vehicle that’s done 200k miles and it’s only being advertised as 80k.
How big is this problem?
Clocking is a big problem, in fact recent findings by vehicle data checking company Rapid Car Check have revealed that 6.47% of vehicles they checked had mileage discrepancies. In the big scheme of things this amounts to an estimated total of 2.47 million vehicles in the UK.
And what’s even more worrying is, it’s very difficult to visually identify a clocked vehicle.
What can you do about it?
Rapid Car Check have released a free tool, which automatically looks for mileage discrepancies in a vehicle’s mileage history. If any are found, a warning message and explanation is displayed. The tool uses the MOT mileage records to help identify mileage anomalies.
Potential safety issues
Clocked vehicles could be a potential safety hazard. A vehicle with high mileage could have a lot more rust, wear, tear and upkeep costs. Also, the chances are you will pay over the odds if a vehicle your buying is clocked.
On a last note, you shouldn’t just focus on the mileage when it comes to a vehicles history because mileage is only one piece of the puzzle. Serious buyers should always get a full vehicle history check to make sure there’s no other hidden surprises.