Clocking Is Still A Problem For Second-hand Cars


You would be forgiven for thinking that clocking was an unscrupulous practice left behind decades ago in backstreet garages, but the unfortunate fact is that it’s still rearing its ugly head. Clocking occurs when someone turns a vehicle’s odometer backwards in a bid to make the vehicle look less used than it is, deliberately cloaking its true mileage. Worryingly, there has been a 25% increase in the number of second-hand cars that have had their mileage altered in the last three years, according to WhatCar?

Bizarrely, the practice of mileage clocking and the sale of mileage clocking equipment is still legal, even though the sale of clocked vehicles is strictly prohibited.

How to spot a clocked used car

Although specific signs of a clocked vehicle are becoming harder to spot in the current climate, there are still some tell-tale signs that a vehicle’s odometer may have been tampered with:

A vehicle’s service history book should record how far it has travelled in between services. If a seller has purchased a new service book or, worse still, amended an existing one, this might be an early warning sign.

Assess the condition of the vehicle’s interior. If the seats are looking particularly tired but the car has only done 30-40,000 miles, this could be cause for suspicion.

Today, newer models display odometer readings in digital format. So, if you have concerns about the use of the vehicle, check for any malfunctions with the vehicle’s trip computer.

How to demonstrate legitimate mileage with Car Genie

If you are a second-hand car owner, the smarter way to demonstrate your vehicle’s legitimate mileage is to connect Car Genie to your vehicle. This clever piece of technology, available exclusively to AA Members for £29 a year (plus a one-off £99 joining fee), plugs into a port in your vehicle and logs everything you do, from journeys and mileage to new faults and spending on fuel. It even lets you know what your driving style is like, which is important if you are particularly conscious about the way your driving impacts on the wider environment.

In terms of mileage, Car Genie records every trip you make, accumulating your mileage as you go. It’s impossible to forge, giving sellers absolute confidence in the age and condition of your vehicle when the time comes to sell it. More importantly for you, it maintains the value in the car. If you regularly use your vehicle for business trips, Car Genie can connect to its smartphone app and provide you with data on mileage to make it easy to claim business expenses with your employer or the taxman.

Providing you’ve got UK breakdown cover with The AA and you have a compatible car, you’ll be able to benefit from a better-connected car with Car Genie.

Car Genie works with most vehicles manufactured in 2005 onwards. It’s easy to check if your vehicle is compatible. Simply click here and enter your vehicle’s registration number to find out whether you can start driving smarter with a dedicated fitness tracker for your much-loved motor.