Protect yourself and reduce the risk of clocking

Posted on December 18th, 2018 by Rob Marshall

Protect yourself and reduce the risk of clocking

Buying a used car is stressful enough but it is all too easy to get burdened down by technical jargon and forget the simple checks that anyone can carry out.


A growing problem is clocking. That is the car displaying a lower mileage on its odometer, than it really has covered. The result is that you risk being out of pocket and your car might exhibit greater levels of wear than its indicated mileage suggests.


While tools that adjust digital mileage displays can be used for legitimate repairs, such as when replacing a broken dashboard clock set, these mileage correction tools have been used by the criminal fraternity. It has become such a problem that now, with around 2.3 million clocked cars on the road, the Local Government Association (LGA) is calling for a ban on mileage correction tools and services.


This might sound familiar, because it is. The EU proposed a ban that was meant to be in place by May 2018 but nothing appears to have changed; at least in the UK. Currently, altering a vehicle’s mileage remains legal but not disclosing it to a prospective purchaser is an offence.


What can you do?

You can turn detective not by looking under the bonnet necessarily but by scrutinising your car’s documentation. All service histories should have the mileages logged, so check for any potential discrepancies. If a used car is fairly new, ask the main dealer for either a service history printout, or evidence of any warranty work, which should also have the mileage logged. Should the car be over three years-old, you can check its mileage via the online MOT history database (as pictured). All this work should be carried out in addition to an HPI check .