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When buying a used car there are some very basic checks you should be doing when you view a car, but one of the most dodgy practices that some used care sellers will do, is clock the car.
Clocking is where a cars mileage indicator, or dial has been turned back so that it shows that the car has done fewer miles than it really has.
This practice can add hundreds, sometimes thousands of pounds to the asking price of a car, as every 1,000 miles turned back, adds a significant amount to any asking price.
Even the digital odometer that are found on modern cars can be altered simply by using a laptop and certain software. Unfortunately this type of clocking also leaves no sign of interference.
So, as a buyer is there anything you can do to check if a car has been clocked?
There are some checks you can carry out to minimise the risk of buying a clocked car. On average a car will do about 10,000 miles per year, so quickly working out how old the car is will tell you if the mileage matches the age of the car.
Another thing to look for is chips and scratches on the front of the bonnet, bumper and grill, which can indicate that lots of motorway driving has been done.
You will also want to check the rubber on the pedals, or if the pedals are shiny.
Is the steering wheel worn, if it is this may indicate a high mileage car.
Check the seats and seat belt webbing for wear.
An older used car that has been fitted with almost new pedals, gear stick, or has been upholstered, may be hiding something from you.
One of the easiest checks to do though, is to check the vehicles documents. If you can view the service documents and MOT certificates you can check the mileage on them. What a lot of people do not know is that you can even contact the garage that did the servicing or MOT and ask them to confirm the mileage they have on their records for the car.
There is also nothing wrong in you contacting a previous owner listed on the logbook/V5C, that had the car before the person you are buying from, and asking the previous owner to verify what the mileage was on the car when they purchased and sold it.
If you have done these checks and you have doubts about the mileage being listed, don’t be pressurised into buying the car. Just tell the seller that you need to go away and think about it.
At the end of the day it is you who is parting with your cash so make sure you do all the relevant checks before handing over the money for a used car.