Doing a mileage check might seem odd for a vehicle history report. After all, doesn’t mileage just continue to climb as the car is driven? Well, technically yes. But, bad actors or human error may have resulted in tampering or data problems related to the mileage that you’ll need to be aware of. It’s best to get educated about the mileage checks on a vehicle history report and what they mean. So, we’re here to help:
- Pass - This is the ideal outcome. A passing score means that no mileage issues have been recorded for the vehicle and you don’t have to worry that it’s been clocked. A passing result looks like this.
- Warning (Reduced) - This is a concern. Either the odometer has been tampered with intentionally or human error was included in the last MOT. Either way, you’ll want to be wary of making a purchase until you know what has caused the recorded miles on the car to go down. Here is what a warning for reduced mileage looks like.
- Warning (Mixed Format) - With this warning, you’ll want to get more information before buying this used car. The mixed format warning means that some readings have been in miles and others in kilometres, so the system can’t verify it’s correct. Here’s what that warning looks like.
What is a clocked car?
A clocked car is one where the mileage has been manually reduced in order to defraud the potential customer or leasing agent and present them with a vehicle showing less apparent mileage. Contrary to popular belief, it’s actually easier to tamper with odometers now that they are digital. Whatcar says, “one in 16 cars in the UK has a discrepancy between its actual and apparent mileage. That’s an increase of 25% since 2014. Cap HPI states that more than 40% of car dealers have bought a second-hand car that they’ve later discovered has been clocked.” So, it’s a pretty common and serious issue.
What should you do if you get a mileage warning?
Well, don’t panic. After all, the warning could all be down to human error. A mechanic could have typed in 7,821 miles when he meant to record 78,210 or supplied KM instead of Miles on the MOT. So your first step is to ask for more information from the seller. They might be able to provide you with further documents to validate the mileage. This could include invoices for repair work and the like that show the mileage at set times in the car’s history. If it looks like an error has been made, you’ll need to contact the DVSA (who looks after this data) and follow these steps. If you’re interested, a list of commonly clocked cars is available here. But it goes without saying that you should always carry out a vehicle history check on any used car before buying.
Should you buy a car with mileage warnings?
The short answer is no. Make sure to resolve any mileage warnings with the DVSA before you complete the sale. If you don’t, you could end up paying over the odds for a car with more miles than you think. According to the Express, “Research in 2018 suggested that the value of an average second-hand family car could rise by £4,000 if the mileage has been slashed by 60,000 miles.” Sometimes even by tens of thousands in the case of higher-end models like Range Rovers. In case the error was an honest mistake, taking the time to put it right will save you hassle down the line too, when you decide to sell it on.
Remember, there are more than just mileage warnings to look out for, so if you need help understanding your report, we’re happy to help. Simply get in touch here.