Mileage Anomaly Check – Clocking Check

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When it comes to carrying out checks on a car, a mileage anomaly check is one of the most important. If you know the true mileage of a vehicle then can you tell how well the previous owners have looked after it. It can also tell you whether any of the car’s vital components are due for replacement.

How are Mileage Records Kept?

MOT testers record the mileage of a car whenever they test it. Over the years this creates a useful mileage log. You can compare this to the reading of a car’s odometer when you view it. It is estimated that almost 2.5 million vehicles in the UK have a discrepancy between the mileage that appears on the odometer, and the mileage data that is held by other organisations such as the DVLA.

Have you had a mileage anomaly check on your car?
An example of a digital milometer – harder to clock, but not impossible!


Many dishonest sellers and dealers adjust the mileage (otherwise known as ‘clocking’). This is to make a vehicle appear as though it has traveled less miles than it really has. This means that they can sell the vehicle for more money than it’s worth.  With a mileage anomaly check it is possible to identify any clocking activity. The check will inform you of the vehicle’s estimated true mileage. It is advisable to steer well clear of a car if you think that someone has clocked the mileage. There is no reason for anyone to clock the mileage on a car if they have been looking after it well.

Why is it important to get a Mileage Anomaly Check?

In some cases, dishonest people may reverse the mileage before you view the car, and then put it back to the correct mileage afterwards. They do this to reduce the chances of someone noticing. This is why it is so important to make a note of the mileage of any car that you test drive if you are considering purchasing it.

It is illegal to knowingly sell a clocked car. But it’s not currently illegal to buy the equipment that can reverse the mileage on a vehicle – it’s a bit of a loophole. This means that anyone can purchase the equipment capable of reversing the mileage on a car. So it’s important to complete a mileage anomaly check before you consider buying any used car.


Is there such a thing as a free mileage check?

It’s possible to find out the mileage of any car if you know how – but that will simply show you the mileage at the last recorded point i.e. when an MOT was last performed. Crucially it will only show you the most recent mileage record, if you want full peace of mind then you really need to see the historical mileage records to be able to see if anything is suspicious. We at FreeCarCheck provide this service.


What is a mileage discrepancy or anomaly?

If the mileage of the vehicle looks suspicious, for example if the vehicle has potentially been mileage clocked, then this is a likely sign that you should walk away. Mileage clocking is the name for when unscrupulous dealers and sellers wind back the mileage. It’s no longer done with a drill – quite often specialist software is used.

We cross-check our mileage reports from various sources and if one of them has a mismatch against the data we’re seeing then this is known as a mileage anomaly.

In some cases, it’s an innocent mistake and the mileage has been entered wrongly somewhere, but not everyone has good intentions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you come across a mileage anomaly – our vehicle checks will flag this up instantly, so buy a report today for any UK vehicle.