Dealer clocked car - what to do ? - cherrytree
aahh! we just found out today that the mondeo we bought a year ago from a dealer (large second-hand car chain) was clocked before we bought it. It was sold to us as only having 8k on the clock (original May01 Y reg) but we have just found out the odometer should have read 25k !
We have yet to find any original documentation with the (incorrect) reading so I have called the first (and only previous) owner - a hire car company - if they have any record of mileage when they sold it.
Thinking back - it seems a bit strange that we didn\'t get any log books with the car - the dealer told us there wasn\'t one and that it hadn\'t been serviced because it was brand new. We were lulled into a false sense of security because we thought we were dealing with a reputable dealer.
We haven\'t approached the dealer yet as I suspect they were the ones to clock it - I doubt the hire car company would do it would they ?
Anyone have ideas as to what we can do ?
Dealer clocked car - what to do ? - cherrytree
I have spoken to the hire car company who were extremely helpful - what an organisation! They looked into it and it appears to be a genuine mistake - they had replaced a faulty odometer with another one reading a higher (and therefore incorrect number). This higher one was recorded but then later reduced to reflect the true mileage.
Dealer clocked car - what to do ? - Phil I
...and the moon is made of green cheese??
Dealer clocked car - what to do ? - AngryJonny
It does sound a little suspect.

If there has been any foul-play though, it\'s obviously the hire car company who\'ve been doing it.
Dealer clocked car - what to do ? - Armitage Shanks{P}
Cherrytree; I don't understand what this means, do you? "This higher one was recorded but then later reduced to reflect the true mileage." Did they replace a faulty odometer with a 2nd hand one with a higher reading and then wind it back? That isn't legal!! Surely they should have replaced it with a new one with a nil reading and put a note in the service record saying something about the mileage on the first one ie that much mileage is 'missing' from the present recorded mileage.
Dealer clocked car - what to do ? - Aprilia
Sounds dodgy to me. A nearly new Mondeo would still be under warranty and the faulty odo would be replaced with a brand new one (zero miles). Where did they get a s/hand odo reading 25k miles from? (bearing in mind the new Mondeo wouldn't have been on sale for long at the time of the incident).
Dealer clocked car - what to do ? - Hugo {P}
Hang on a mo.

I wouldn\'t have throught it would be in the hire car company\'s interests to cut a car\'s mileage by a tiddly 17K, even if it did increase the sale price slightly.

I would however, write to the MD of the hire car company and ask for a full explanation as to why the speedo was changed for a 2nd hand one. You should also ask for a copy of its lease agreement (Data Protection Act Permitting) or simply try and find out which company owned it.

I remember working for a similar hire car company a number of years ago and saw a written off Metro at the service compound, only about 6 months old, but it was being used for spares.

What you have to remember is that many of these outfits probably, for cost purposes, have low cost insurance on their cars and can get their cars for much less than you and I can, and probably cannot/do not claim for write offs or repairs. So it\'s quite possible that the clock did come from another car.

Dealer clocked car - what to do ? - king arthur
Whether the replacement speedo was reading too high a mileage or not, winding it back is strictly illegal.
Dealer clocked car - what to do ? - Aprilia
Surely the car would have been nearly new and still under warranty? Even if the hire car company did the work themselves, they would have received a new speedo unit FOC from Ford.
Dealer clocked car - what to do ? - Armitage Shanks{P}
So despite the title of your thread the dealer didn\'t clock the car, the hire car company did. What was the \'log book\' you didn\'t get? The V5 would have come from Swansea not the dealer and the servicing record should be with the car as it should have been signed up for a pre-delivery inspection, even if it was sold on before having a scheduled service. Has it ever had a service, so far as you know? If it isn\'t due one you don\'t have a problem and if it is overdue one get it done, stamped up in new service book and you are sorted. Given the VIN number a Ford dealer may be able to give you information on work that has been done. Did you get the radio code and ALL the keys for the car? See other recent threads on the costs of getting Ford keys replaced and coded!
Dealer clocked car - what to do ? - cherrytree
Hi all - I am finding out more tomorrow from the hire car company - I must say it is all a bit confusing.
As for the keys - we got all the keys but managed to lose both the fob key (down a drain!) and the other key (into the Thames!) - cost to get 2 extra keys nearly 100 pounds from Ford - amazing.
Dealer clocked car - what to do ? - Godfrey H {P}
It all seems more than a bit suspicious to me. Ask them why a new speedometer wasn't fitted by Ford FOC and a note made in the service book. Why were they selling a car into the trade with only 8k miles? I don't know whether Ford dealers do lifetime computerised history like Merc and BMW but it might be worth popping in to a Ford dealer when they are quiet and asking for a favour to look up your car. A retrospective HPI check might be worthwhile. Incidentally the BBC set up a sting operation a couple of years ago to investigate clocking and they asked one of the "mileage correction" operators how trade was. His reply was "very busy I've got two main dealers and a leasing company to do after you"!
Dealer clocked car - what to do ? - NorthernKev {P}
I believed that winding back a speedo showing too higher a milage was legal? Also I thought it was only if you claimed it wasn't altered? I'm sure HJ said this at some point, something about why they advertised 'milage correction' in the Torygraph.

Dealer clocked car - what to do ? - Andrew-T
I am a bit surprised that anyone thought it worth 'clocking' a 15-month old Mondeo with 25K - it is quite a likely mileage, not exceptionally high. But perhaps if servicing had been skimped it wouldn't look so bad if there was only 8K showing. There are lots of nerds out there who can easily fix electronic speedos with a laptop.

In 1983 I bought a 9-month old Cavalier with 23K and kept it for 4 years - no trouble at all, so it isn't necessarily bad news. Just the nasty feeling of having been cheated.
Dealer clocked car - what to do ? - Rob the Bus {P}
...and the moon is made of green cheese??

It is, isn't it????

Next you'll be telling us that Father Christmas doesn't exist! Tch!

Dealer clocked car - what to do ? - Dwight Van Driver
If at the end of your enquiries you still feel all is not as it should be have a word with Trading Standards. They may not be able to help but may record your incident and use the information as intelligence for a future occasion.

Dealer clocked car - what to do ? - cherrytree
Hi - well things just took a turn for the worse.
The hire car company have clarified that yes the car had done 25,000 when they sold it. 14,500 on original odometer and then 8,500 on the new one. This was all duly noted in the service history log book. I have rung up the dealer and they confirmed over the phone that yes the car had done 25,000 when they purchased it. They said they would need to investigate why this information wasn\'t passed on to me.
What makes it more interesting is that whilst the hire car company sold the car with a service history log book when I bought the car and asked why there was no log book they said the car had not needed a service having such a low mileage.
I have sent an email to the manager of the store saying if I don\'t hear back from them by 10am tomorrow morning then I will be forced to take it further. I am still hoping this was all an innocent (even though considerably negligent!) misrepresention and they agree to buy the car from me for my asking price and terms. If not I will bite the bullet and brief a solicitor at considerably expense - even if Trading Standards don\'t take it up I am sure I will succeed in a civil case. I\'ll let you all know what happens and dislose the name of this company if they don\'t agree to my reasonably request. They are a big second-hand car company - surely the reputational risk would be too much for them not to agree ??

Dealer clocked car - what to do ? - madf
Trading Standards just love persecuting people for clocking. It would appear you have an open and shut case..
Dealer clocked car - what to do ? - Hugo {P}
I suspect it is an honest mistake, as I suggested earlier, if the company are big, they would have a lot to lose if they simply trim 17K off a car.

You will probably find that an internal breakdown of communications resulted in some sales chap innocently selling you a car in good faith.

You should demand to have the Service Record

Suggest you demand they compensate you adequately or you tell them that:

You go to every trade journal and Trading Standards about this case.

You contact HJ's column in the Daily Telegraph.

You contact Watchdog.

They may simply suggest a reasonable price adjustment to take into account the difference in the values of an 8K and a 25K car. This may be an efficient way for them to go if you agree to it, so if you are prepaired to explore this route, you could end up with a very decent payoff.

Good luck!

Dealer clocked car - what to do ? - DavidHM
madf - \'Persecuting?\' I think you mean prosecuting.

Hugo - I tend to agree with you. An 18 month old car with 25k would be worth (my estimates for retail) £8300. With 8k it would probably be about £8600.

I don\'t know how much Cherrytree paid but we are talking about a difference in the low hundreds, not thousands, for the mileage.

Given that the hire car company would have priced this into the lease, it\'s not even worth their time to clock the car for this money, let alone the risk of being found out and making their cars less valuable at auction to traders worried about inadvertently selling clocked cars.
Dealer clocked car - what to do ? - Aprilia
Personally I think an 8k car is a different beast to one with 25k. I would be surprised if the difference amounted to only £300.
Dealer clocked car - what to do ? - madf
I you have had to deal with Tradin Standards you would agree I mean "persecuting" :-)
Dealer clocked car - what to do ? - eMBe {P}
It is too late for cherrytree, but for other future buyers, it is worth noting the advice HJ gives at
" .. AA/Experian and What Car? have extended their services to a limited mileage check (where past mileages have been recorded). But gathering mileage information has been a nightmare, largely due to the reluctance of some fleets (the prime source of relatively young but high-mileage cars) to divulge mileages on disposal. These fleets know that if they have a reputation in the trade for not divulging mileages, they stand a better change of getting high 'clockers money' for their cars at auction. The worry is whether the data registers are getting the correct information in the first place. If a vendor and a trader conspire to register a lower mileage than a vehicle has actually covered, then that's what goes on the DVLA records and gets entered on to the data registers. Still, some record of mileage has to be better than none at all.

The best advice is to treat all odometer readings as suspicious and to get in touch with previous owners listed on the car's V5. If you are buying from the first owner of the car and he is a man of the cloth, then the mileage is probably correct. If you are buying from a freelance commercial traveller, then, if the mileage is low, it is probably not correct. ..." >>

Note: {P} - indicates that I am advertising that my profile can be viewed.
Dealer clocked car - what to do ? - cherrytree
In response to DavidHM - we bought the low mileage mondeo specifically because a year ago we knew we would need to sell in a year\'s time (now) and were trying to buy something that would be easy to sell quickly - if it was low mileage we thought that would be a good selling point. But now - not only is mileage incorrect but it gives potential buyers impression that maybe there are other things hidden in the car\'s dark history! I definitely wouldn\'t settle for 300 pounds. I want them to buy it back for the not unreasonable sum of 6,750 which probably represents an average trade-in price for a 01 Y-reg Mondeo LX hatchback. I think I have a good civil case for misrepresentation if they don\'t play ball. Also - to clarify - the hire car company didn\'t \'clock\' the car - they merely replaced a faulty odometer and disclosed this when they sold the car - nothing wrong there.
Dealer clocked car - what to do ? - Armitage Shanks{P}
You called this thread \"Dealer Clocked car\" and he didn\'t. Now you say that the hire car company didn\'t either. Bearing in mind what you have posted I hope that neither they not their legal representatives read this site! You might find that legal action is a 2 way street!

All trace of hire car company\'s name has been removed for the reason that Arm Shanks has pointed out. DD
Dealer clocked car - what to do ? - Aprilia
It would appear the dealer wasn't entirely 'straight' though - what happened to the service book?
Dealer clocked car - what to do ? - cherrytree
In reply to Armitage Shanks - I have not accused the hire car company of anything untoward if you bothered to read my postings. As for the dealer I haven\'t disclosed who it was and am giving them the benefit of the doubt. The reason I thought it was clocked is that the mileage history revealed the 25,000 mileage whereas I was sold an 8,000 mile car. I think anyone would assume someone had clocked it - it doesn\'t really matter that it wasn\'t clocked - the effect is exactly the same.
The dealer misrepresented the mileage to me and seems to have been wrong about the existence of the service history book. It was either intentional or (hopefully) only worryingly negligent.
Dealer clocked car - what to do ? - Andrew-T
ch - when you bought the car, did you feel you were paying an 8K price or getting a bargain, i.e. a 25K price? If the latter, you may just have got a reasonable deal which seemed better than it really was.
Dealer clocked car - what to do ? - cherrytree
definitely thought we were paying an 8k price - 8,000 pounds for an 8,000 mile car. It was down to two cars - both Mondeos - one a bit older but higher spec and higher miles. We explained how important it was that we could sell it quickly when we needed so part of the sales patter was we should buy the lower mileage car (!). If it had done 25,000 we wouldn't have bought it - simple as that.
Dealer clocked car - what to do ? - Armitage Shanks{P}
Cherrytree. I wrote \"You called this thread \"Dealer Clocked car\" and he didn\'t. Now you say that the hire car company didn\'t either.\"

You haven\'t accused the hire car company of anything and that is what I said. The point I was making was that YOU called the thread \"Dealer clocked car\" and he didn\'t so you are very wise not to name him as this is a very serious accusation!
Dealer clocked car - what to do ? - cherrytree
Armitage Shanks - my accusation is potentially just as serious - I bought a car that had done 25,000 miles but was represented to me as having only done 8,000. Combine that with the missing service book (which mentions the change in odometer) and their responses to my enquiries about that and one has fraudulent misrepresentation - just as bad as clocking. I don't think the organisation as a whole would condone such activity but I can see the temptation for salesmen working on a commission basis to hide certain facts from the buyer.
Dealer clocked car - what to do ? - Dynamic Dave
Rather than simply delete this thread due to potential naming & shaming, I've removed all trace of company names concerned instead. I would be grateful if it remains that way. Thanks.

Dynamic Dave
Back Room Moderator
Dealer clocked car - what to do ? - king arthur
I can see cherrytree's point. If the dealer could not verify that the mileage was correct, the mileage should not have been described, and a disclaimer should have been placed over the odometer. Failure to do so is an offence under the TDA.
Dealer clocked car - what to do ? - Pugugly {P}
Your case has been very well presented. In my opinion you should now seek further prof. advice. Your first stop is to present a case to the dealer with your evidence. Follow this by a visit to your local trading standards and your CAB. One point I would like clarified (sorry been on a soap box all day !) is whether there was mileage disclaimer on the speedo or elsewhere when you bought it.

This is of course not legal advice in any shape or form.
Dealer clocked car - what to do ? - cherrytree
No disclaimer on speedo or elsewhere.
Even if there were exclusions or limitations (of which I am not aware) they are not relevant here as they have admitted they knew the car had done 25,000 miles. Also remember they also told me at the time of sale that there was no service history log book because the car had not yet needed a service (having done so few miles).
Saw the dealer the day - they have agreed to buy it back from me - although they have yet to agree to my price. A bit disappointing that they consider the right price to be what they would normally pay for a car as opposed to compensating me for a reasonable private sale price. However, I think they will agree with me early next week that I am being reasonable - if I incur any legal costs (probably be about £1,000 if this ends up in court) I would seek a court order for reimbursement of legal costs. Obviously this is all small fry in light of potential damage to their reputation if this ends up in the consumer media or if Trading Standards pick it up...

Dealer clocked car - what to do ? - BobbyDazzler
Just caught this thread. A similar thing happened to me quite a few years back. I bought a 2nd hand Honda from a very reputable localish garage (in fact they have a bit of a snobby air about 'em). After realising that i had made a mistake in my choice of model i traded it in after three months for a Prelude at another garage in the same town. The salesman there must have had a photographic memory because when looking at the car he immediately recognised it and KNEW that the mileage wasn't right. After a bit of digging he produced a work sheet, from their workshop, detailing the fact that this car had had a new odometer fitted at 16,000 miles!

Thing was....this fact was noted in the service log and i hadn't spotted it (it was handwritten though and took some deciphering)

To cut a long story short, the snobby garage initially ignored me, trading standards did 'em for not putting stickers on their odometers and i eventually got a £500 'shut up'.


Value my car