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How to notice a clocked car

How to notice a clocked car when looking for a new vehicle

A ‘clocked car’ is when a car’s recorded mileage is lowered which makes it look fresher and more attractive to prospective buyers. Luckily, there are a few ways to ensure you can buy a car that hasn’t been tampered with.

Check the car’s service history

The vehicle’s mileage should have been documented at every servicing – normally every 12 months or 12,000 miles. This gives you a decent idea of how far it’s travelled. Calling the previous owner to verify the mileage when they sold is also useful because a dishonest seller may have acquired a new service book or doctored the current one.

Trust your instinct

When buying a car, you must also trust your judgement, since gut feelings and data gathered with your own eyes can assist you in making a judgment. If you see anything that isn’t in keeping with the vehicle’s overall condition — for example, an excessively worn interior with just 40,000 miles on the clock – you should be concerned.

Check electrical systems

Although electronic odometers can make it difficult to notice clocking, electrical anomalies can still pop up, such as a malfunctioning trip computer. Basic electrical glitches and malfunctions will show if the electrical system has been tampered with.

Check the mileage at every viewing

Dodgy sellers will turn back the total mileage in the first viewing so that they lure potential buyers into a car that seems to have low mileage, only to reset the clock on a second viewing, or after a purchase, to ensure everything looks legal again.

Get a vehicle check

You can access a database of 135 million mileages for a low fee which verifys a vehicle’s history. The car you’re looking at will most likely be in this database.

Want a reliable place to buy your next car?

Not to worry, you can buy used cars at our auction, where you don’t need to worry about clocked mileages. It’s easy to sign up and bidding can be done completely online. You’ll have to pick up the car in person, though.

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