My friend has just bought a W reg Vauxhall Astra, it looks pretty worn for the 26000 on the clock, the sevice book has never had any information stamped in it with reference to this specific car. I suggested the mileage was wrong but when he took it back to the dealer (not main agent) he was told it was impossible to change the reading on a digital mileage display.
If it has a main dealer service history then any Vauxhall garage might be able to give you the details, based on the Reg No or the VIN No. You certainly CAN get a digital set up re-set! Steveb is right - there are people outside car auctions waiting to do it. Perhaps your friend has bought a car that has been 'round the clock' and there should be an extra '1' in front of the recorded mileage. 6,000 miles a year doesn't sound like a lot for any car and I would have thought it was very suspect, particularly if the supplying dealer is giving out misinformation about the technicalities of the car.
Try AS's idea and contact a Vauxhall dealer first.
Failing that, try contacting the previous keeper.
If it has been a company car try contacting the fleet company, their details might be in some of the paperwork or even on the numberplates.
I checked the history of a car I bought a few years ago that had been a PHH Fleet car, I phoned them up and they sent me a computer printout of it's life, showing all services, parts etc. very helpful.
Had a call from a guy who bought a Golf that I once owned. He got my details from the V5. In the course of the conversation he said it was a bargain with just 70,000 miles on the clock. I did 140,000 in it! So somewhere between part-exing it, and this guy getting it, someone did reset the mileage, and they threw away the full service history and MOT certificate!
In the early nineties, a good friend sold a Golf GTi that he had cherished (the key word) with 85,000 miles on the clock. Everyone says their car is mint. His really was.
A week later, he saw it on another garage forecourt, so played punter and went for a look.
Just over 20,000.
With all the digits perfectly lined up, no scratches on the instrument cluster screws, and no heavily worn pedal rubbers or seats, and not MOT certificates (sold just prior to 3rd birthday) whoever bought it would have no clue that it had ever been anything different.
Apart from people trying (or succeeding) to benefit financially from mileage alteration which is nothing short of deceitful, I really don't see what the mileage fuss is all about. The buyers are the problem by making such a big deal out of nothing. If people didn't worry about mileage, car dealers wouldn't bother trying to clock them.
I have worked in the motor repair trade all my working life, and I'm in no doubt that high mileage vehicles that have been looked after and serviced regularly and properly are better than low mileage ones. They definitely seem to perform better, I have seen this so many times. A 5 year old car that belonged to an old lady that only does 5 miles a week to the shops is probably an internal wreck, and the first motorway journey at 70mph will kill it. My 1994 Astra diesel has now done 177,000 miles. I know that's genuine because I bought it directly from the company I work for. It was my boss’s car and had done 138,000 when we bought it. It still starts, runs and sounds as good as the day it was new. That's because it's always been looked after and done hot miles, long journeys rather than short ones.
I also know of cars that have done 300,000 and even 400,000 miles and their owners say they're still as good as new.
So the moral of the story is, the quality and frequency of service and repair counts for more than mileage.
A car with full service history and average miles has got to
be better than a car with full service history and huge
mileage, all things being equal.
But all things are often not equal, that is the point. I don\'t know how many engines you\'ve stripped and overhauled in your time Keith but I have done one or two. And worn cylinder bores, crankcase compression, gummy piston rings, carbon deposits on cylinder head and valves are all things associated with low mileage and constant short journeys.
I\'m still convinced that in general the best engines are those which clock up mileage very quickly, and have been looked after and serviced properly and regularly. Modern engines are capable of several hundred thousand miles as materials, fuels and lubricants have all improved. What has not improved however is the nut behind the steering wheel.
But of course there is more in the equation than just the condition of the engine - all the suspension and steering components, gearbox, clutch, will wear according to the miles done. And the screen gets more stone chips, and the seats get saggier, and .. ..
Not sure about the clutch and box... they'll wear in proportion to mileage, all things being equal, but a car that only ever changes gear on the way to and from the motorway junction and sits in fifth for 90% of its journeys will have much less wear in this area than one that sits in traffic all the time, even if the town car has a fifth of the mileage.
Steering and suspension components... again, the motorways are smooth and straight, so if it's been driven gently within the speed limits there's no reason to expect them to wear out in proportion to mileage, i.e., at the same rate as on an 'average mileage' car.
Okay, the car will get loads more stone chips but a spray gun, £100 and a Friday afternoon in the body shop will sort that. Sure, the seats get a bit more worn but no one is bouncing up and down on them like you do when you get in the car, so I'm not sure that even seat wear is proportional.
Have seen a leased BMW 530d being clocked from 100k to 73k in Holland, a friend's colleague did this to stay within the lease agreement. Got the car serviced out of BMW network during that period. Not very ethical in my mind but was amazed that it took 15 min!