Mileage clocking falsely reports the miles a vehicle has travelled. It can be an illegal practice and often result in drivers receiving less money than they deserve. In this blog post, we will discuss mileage clocking, how it works, and whether or not it is illegal.
A practice once famously shown in Matilda, mileage clocking has become a major part of the used car industry, with an estimated 2.5 million cars having an altered mileage as of 2020. Car clocking is morally bankrupt, but legally can be done, providing the vehicle isn’t sold without the clocking disclosed to the buyer. With car clocking essentially illegal if you want to sell the car, it creates the question of why people would choose to alter their car mileage.
In this blog…
Car finance and its effect on mileage clocking
With the rise of car finance, car mileage has come under the microscope even more. Both personal contract purchase (PCP) and personal contract hire (PCH) deals have mileage limits agreed upon with the customer for a set period. Any miles driven past this limit will result in an increased charge. For those wanting to save money and still be able to go as far as they wish, car clocking provides an option to do this. We must stress that this practice is illegal and, if caught, will result in a minimum cancellation of the agreement. Car finance is on the rise, and mileage is a massive part of this means that some see car clocking as a chance to trick financers illegally.
The negatives of car clocking
According to Admiral, clocking costs motorists more than £800 million annually. Paying more for a car than you should is illegal and morally wrong, tricking someone into paying more for their dream car. At a time when the UK is in a cost-of-living crisis, tricking motorists into paying more is even more dangerous given the current climate. Car clocking can also be hazardous. Whenever a car is serviced or worked on, mileage is taken to keep track of any work on a vehicle. This is then kept on file and presented to any buyers. If mileage is tampered with, servicings and any issues may be missed or misreported, leaving a future buyer in a position where they are unaware of any problems on the car. This could result in a potentially catastrophic incident and is another reason mileage clocking should never happen. Removing the very measure of when a vehicle has been worked on will leave any future owners driving a car that may have missed MOTs, services, or worse, have significant defects that aren’t reported.
The law on mileage clocking
Although mileage clocking isn’t illegal, there are penalties in place for car dealerships that look to sell cars with tampered mileage. In some particular cases, mileage needs to change when a vehicle is imported and needs to switch from kilometres to miles. In every other case, mileage clocking is outlawed, and anyone in possession of a tampered car must disclose this before selling. If you are thinking about altering your car’s mileage, we advise you don’t. The practice is morally wrong and can place any future buyer of your vehicle in danger.
To summarise, mileage clocking is an illegal practice that can leave owners of tampered cars in danger and cost motorists over £800 million a year. Anyone caught selling a vehicle with an altered mileage will face penalties from the Financial Conduct Authority. If you want to buy a car, always do your due diligence and check the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to see if it has been altered. Never buy a car without knowing the exact mileage, and make sure the seller declares it before any agreement is made.
By following these steps, you can avoid being caught out if your car has been clocked and you don’t even realise it.