Clocked? - googolplex
couldn't help but question Dominic Littlewood's claim (in Sat telegraph) that "clocking is almost an extinct word now" and that "Government bodies have weeded out most of the Arthur Daleys".

Thats wishful thinking. I cannot help but marvel at the quantities of "low mileage" specimens which are displayed on forecourts up and down the country. What, I ask myself, happens to all the other normal (ie high) mileage cars? I say "normal" because most of the people I know clock up annual mileages of 15-20K through domestic driving and commuting. What happens to these cars...?

In addition, is it not complacent to assume that clocking is a thing of the past and that most car traders are genuine? One thing I have learned from this site and its links is that there is a vast difference between prices being asked by car sellers up and down the country. I still think that buying a car is about the most risky thing I'll ever do and I'm forever alarmed by the lack of consumer protection when forking out thousands of pounds. There must be a better way of regulating this business - proper inspections of premises etc. There's Ofsted, Oftel, Ofjustaboutanythingelse, so why not Ofcardealers!?

Splodgeface
Clocked? - slefLX
It does still happen, I was watching a fly-on-the-wall programme recently where the researchers set themselves up in a mileage correction business and got loads of requests to 'clock' cars. I know these programmes are biased but at least it shows that the practice does go on and we need to be wary when buying 2nd hand cars.
Clocked? - volvoman
Me too - I've seen numerous programmes on this subject and, like a lot of things, the truth is that the potential rewards of clocking far outweigh the penalties in the unlikely event of being caught.

I've always kep my old MOT's as a sort of record of the mileage my car has done. It would help if everyone did this and, of course, if there were no buyers for supposedly low mileage cars with little/no paperwork and at bargain prices, these people would cease to exist.
Clocked? - Cardew
I'm certain clocking does still go on, but there are still plenty of low mileage cars about; particularly those used as second cars.
For the last 15 years SWMBO has averaged less than 3K miles a year. Her work is 2 miles away and the rest of the time the car is in shopping trolley mode - any long journey is in my car.
My parents and other retired relatives also have very low annual mileage.
Clocked? - DavidHM
I went to the Renault dealer today to get some parts and managed to park my car alongside two other 19s... probably the last time you'll see 3 of them next to each other at a Renault franchise.

The chap 2 cars along had been in to get a price on a new Mégane. He wasn't bothered about spec, but wanted a newer car to replace his. It was an L plate, looking pretty good, 1.4 R19 Biarritz (one up from basic, I think, so probably central locking but no electric windows, not sure about PAS) which belonged to his wife. The garage had offered him £400 in part exchange, which I thought was a fair price but he felt insulted by.

I guess I can understand that. He wanted £1500, which would have been achievable if he pushed very hard and paid list price. The thing is that the car had only done 25k from new, which he thought made it the best car in the world although personally, I was thinking... this car's never been out of second, has it?
Clocked? - Andrew-T
On the other side of this coin, there are some traders who do what they can to remove doubts about their cars. Last June I bought a one-owner 99T 306 Meridian HDI with only 18K, from a small-scale supersite I have bought from once or twice before, at a price well over £1000 below the neighbouring Peugeot franchise. I noticed a sticker in the top corner of the screen 'Mileage Guarantee Scheme' which was apparently backed by Cheshire Trading Standards, so I phoned them a week or two later. It seems that some 15 dealers in the county are signed up to this, whereby if any evidence proves the recorded milage to be false, they will recompense the purchaser. Does this exist in other counties? (my daughter works for S****shire and she hadn't heard of it)


Clocked? - Tom Shaw
There is a facility on VED application forms to record the milage of the vehicle every time you renew. I can't understand why this is not compulsory and recorded against the vehicle details at the DVLA. It would be simplicity itself and would be a surefire way of making clocking a thing of the past.

Anyone think of any loopholes?
Clocked? - Cardew
"Anyone think of any loopholes?"

Assuming that only dealers would clock cars - can't think of a loophole.

If you are the owner of the car, you lie about your mileage on the VED and get it clocked. Also plenty of cars run about with the speedo disconnected.

Generally though it would prevent much of the clocking.
Clocked? - J Bonington Jagworth
"There is a facility on VED application forms to record the milage.."

And on MOT's (recorded by the tester), which will be a required bit of documentation, assuming the vehicle is more than three years old. How is that 'revised'?
Clocked? - BrianW
Government departments are totally incapable of accurately recording anything.
What makes you think that DVLC could handle something as complicated as copying a five or six digit number from a form into a computer?

Brian
Still learning (I hope)
Clocked? - Texan
There is a facility on VED application forms to record the
milage of the vehicle every time you renew. I can\'t understand
why this is not compulsory and recorded against the vehicle
details at the DVLA. It would be simplicity itself and would
be a surefire way of making clocking a thing of the past.
Anyone think of any loopholes?



I don\'t think the Government have got any intention of making mileage recording compulsory on any DVLA records. I am sure Manufacturers/fleet operators persuade them not to.

If they do, clocking will cease but residual values of cars in general will fall leading to a downturn in the motor trade which contributes a significant amount to the UK economy. A manufacturer tried to make their cars \'unclockable\' in the early 1990\'s but residual values fell through the floor until the manufacturer corrected their \'mistake\'.

People will refuse to buy cars with \'real mileages\' and hang on to what they have got as they can\'t buy the car they want at the mileage they want at the price they want. Also with falling residual values, used cars will suffer when used in part exchanges against new cars.

Result - New car and second hand car sales fall and people retain
their own cars for longer.
Clocked? - Vansboy
We used to get Trading Standards lady around when we first moved here.She would bo spot checks on some of the stock, for false mileages.Never had a problem, but then we only offer 1 owner, direct stuff anyway.
Of course we've all heard of the trader, who bought the above average miles, ex fleet car....decided to give it a 'haircut', opened up the speedo, found the little note inside, saying....OH NO NOT AGAIN!!!
I'll get me coat!
Mark
Clocked? - zm
I reckon it is very possible that every (and I don't say that lightly) franchised dealer / supersite has several clocked cars on its forecourt without knowing. Here's why:

Imagine you have a small business selling widgets to whoever and have a few reps (or engineers) out on the road doing say 20k a year in vehicles that you have on a 10k per annum contract. Obviously you will have to pay a sizeable fee when the cars are at the end of the contract for excess mileage. To get round this you simply contact one of the myriad 'odometer correction' outfits advertising in the autotrader each week (there was one in Liverpool called 'Miles Unlimited' - brilliant!) and arrange for a 'haircut' every so often. Of course you still send the vehicle back to the main agent for its contracted servicing at the due time based on the false odometer reading. As far as the dealers & contact hire/leasing comapnies are aware the car is being serviced when it should be and that the mileage is genuine. If as a result of being late for services the car is unreliable, it is not the users problem, he simply has it repaired under manufacturer warranty. At the end of the contract they take it back in - in good faith - and sell it via their used car scheme. Clearly the dealer's/ lease companies and ultimately the punter who buys the vehicle as a used car are all being ripped off, but there is absoulutely no way the actual milegae could be determined by anyone, as it is a 'little secret' between the first user and the clocking outfits. All the mileage checks in the world would not bring this to light. For that first user of the car he has absolutely everything to gain and nothing to lose by doing this. I reckon that this is how most clocking occurs these days, for a trader to do it it is too easy to get caught and not worth a prison sentance for.

In a nutshell, the only way you can be 100% sure of the authenticity of a cars mileage is to buy it brand new and be the first owner. By the way, what does 'SWMBO' stand for??
Clocked? - chris p crisps ©
I reckon it is very possible that every (and I don't say that lightly) franchised dealer / supersite has several clocked cars on its forecourt without knowing. Here's why:ect ect.

there is a flaw that you have overlooked .most drvers using company cars have to claim mileage expences back from thier company, to do so means filling in a mileage claim form which is part of any company auditing and therefore may show up at some time to the emmbaresment of the company. however a good accountant would probably hide this whilst fiddling the rest of the books.

chris
Clocked? - Tom Shaw
Back in the mid eighties a "friend" worked for a driving school run by a lovable old East End rogue who would have made Arthur Daley look like Mother Teresa. His brother used to come round to the instructors house to carry out the 5000 mile service on the leased cars every 10000 miles, when a major task would be to "adjust" the milage to coincide with the service intervals. At the end of the 18 month lease period the cars would be duly returned to the small garage the firm leased from, without having to incur an excess milage penalty. The owner of the garage, a captain in the Salvation Army believe it or not, would then carry out a further little "adjustment" in order to tally the car's milage to a more accurate reflection of the car's age.

Bearing in mind that Mark 2 Fiestas were not really up to the pounding they took from driving tuition, the poor s**s who ended up with clean, average milage little motors must have spent their period of ownership with very empty bank accounts.
Clocked? - zm
I don't think it would occur to anyone to check these forms for possible clocked cars, and anyhow these can be doctored to suit.
Clocked? - chris p crisps ©
I don't think it would occur to anyone to check these forms for possible clocked cars, and anyhow these can be doctored to suit.>>

thats not so. the company auditor ,who is independent, checks expence forms.Also up to last year the higher the company mileage done the less tax was paid by the individual to the inland revenue so the higher the mileage the better, and it has been known for vehicle mileages to be requested by the inland revenue as a check.I agree these could be doctored but he who does it is scatting on very thin ice and it only takes one disgruntled employee to crack it.

chris
Clocked? - Toad, of Toad Hall.
couldn't help but question Dominic Littlewood's claim (in Sat telegraph) that
"clocking is almost an extinct word now" and that "Government bodies
have weeded out most of the Arthur Daleys".
Thats wishful thinking


Totally agree. Dealers clock cars almost by default. Went past a dealer with a mate where his old car ended up. (Sold by company to small trader) It had been wound back almost 20k to the previous service.

Standard practice.

The question is is it dishonest? Everyone know it happens. A prime time TV show gave the figure of 80 per cent. Hardly a con if the buyer knows it's likely.
--
These are my own opinions, and not necessarily those of all Toads.
Clocked? - M.M
Agree Toad. I don't buy and sell cars but I look at loads for folks. Often when you are phoning round looking for a diesel car that you hope might have done about 65K (but in reality is going to be nearer 100K plus).......well blow me all the ones the dealers have are about 70K and the history "hasn't come through yet".

MM
Clocked? - Cliff Pope
If
a) everyone knows or assumes it happens
b)the actual mileage means very little anyway, as we all now know that a high mileage of the right kind is better than a low 'local runs only' mileage

then it hardly seems to matter what the mileometer shows. In fact there is not much point in fitting them anymore. Wouldn't 'hours run at full operating temperature' be more useful?
Clocked? - Toad, of Toad Hall.
If
a) everyone knows or assumes it happens
b)the actual mileage means very little anyway, as we all now
know that a high mileage of the right kind is better
than a low 'local runs only' mileage then it hardly seems to matter what the mileometer shows.


I agree 100 per cent! THe two company car in my family both go to well over 100k in 2 or three years and are always sold on in mint condition. If someone buys them thinking they are 30k cars who loses? They will be every bit as good as the person expects and they will all be aware that a company owned 4 door saloon with 30k on it is too good to be true!

When I'm looking gat a car mileage isn't even on my mind.

Condition, previous owners attitude are far more important.

As MiddleMan rightly says it's not cooincidence that dealers have all the low milers!
--
These are my own opinions, and not necessarily those of all Toads.
Clocked? - M.M
Quite Mr Toad,

I was briskly driven home the other night in a very smooth car with neat handling for a family hatch. The interior was mint and the engine as smooth and smoke free as they come. No parking dents etc...a really nice car that gave the impression it was near the begining of its life.

Actually 145,000 recorded.

Mileage means nothing...maintenance is all.

Get that sorted in your mind and buy very cheaply...like Chad's Xantia Estate in the other thread. There are serious maintenance and cost reasons why that will be a better car overall at 100K plus than one with 70K on the clock.

MM
Clocked? - Andrew-T
Agree with you 99%, MM, at least on the mechanicals. But not many owners maintain things like driver's seat (sag) or windscreen (stone chips and wiper scratching, which I find especially annoying at night). I suppose by 145K there is a fair chance that the screen has been replaced!
Clocked? - Marcus
So you will give me as much for a trade in with 145K miles as one with 45K miles?

Thats why people clock cars to increase their value. A value determined by the used car trade.
Clocked? - M.M
>So you will give me as much for a trade in with 145K miles as one with 45K miles?

If you are asking me I said I don't deal in cars... but I wouldn't want to buy your 45K car at a much higher price than the 145K one if you look at it that way.


>A value determined by the used car trade.

Or a value determined by used car buyers??


MM
Clocked? - Dan J
It never ceases to amaze me that people still believe it when they see F reg Volvo 740s in the paper with 150k on the clock. The same cars have probably been sold twice before with the same mileage!

Interestingly it seems altered upwards depending on what people will accept on a particular make of car. Few people would have a problem buying a 100k Merc or Volvo and hey presto - many are around that mileage. Cars viewed as perhaps been less well built - loads on the forecourt at that magical (not unrealistic but nicely short of 100k) 70k figures.

In a way it is actually a good sign as it just goes to show there must be some very ordinary motors out there with some massive mileages!
Clocked? - Nsar
Vaguely off thread, but what do you do if you get your service book from the garage and they've mistakenly marked down a really inaccurate number, especially one lower than the previous recorded mileage, and you don't notice till you come to sell it. Have you ever checked that recorded mileage is accurate when you pick up your car?
Clocked? - Dave_TD
I did wonder about that. My car is due a service every 10,000 miles, and I always take it in just before this point, partly to keep the warranty valid! It has to be done within 500 miles either side of the 10,000 mile interval to count. Gradually I was gaining on them, by taking it in at 9,400 miles, 9200 miles etc, but they were still writing the "next service due" mileage as if it were being done every 10,000 miles!
e.g. Serviced 8th Dec 2002 128,367 miles
Next Service due 8th Dec 2003 or 140,000 miles

In the interests of vehicle reliability I still get it done after no more than 10,000 miles (ie in the above example serviced at 138,367 miles) but would they still honour the warranty if I'd left it to 140,000 miles before servicing and a claim arose? I think not.
 

Value my car