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A UK-based car dealer has been fined £14,000 (€15,350) after being caught selling a clocked car for the second time. Oldham-based S Cars were taken to court after the mileage on an Audi Q7 they sold dropped by 30,000. Cars with incorrect mileage are an all too common occurrence in the UK, with tests finding that 18% of cars have had their mileage tampered with. So, when you’re next shopping for a car, it’s crucial that you know how to tell a clocked motor from a genuine one.
Check old MOT certificates
S Cars purchased the clocked Audi Q7 from an auction, and previous MOT certificates clearly showed that the mileage had dropped. As the dealer didn’t investigate and proceeded to sell the car on, they were deemed at fault and put on trial for their wrongdoings. Thankfully, it’s easy to avoid falling victim to similar behavior from a car dealer. Once a vehicle in the UK is three years old, it legally has to have an MOT test to ensure that it’s road-safe. During this test, the current mileage is recorded by the testing station. You can check the mileage recorded of all British vehicles dating back to 2005 on the Gov.uk website for free, so you should always do this to check that the mileage is consistent.
Know the vehicles that are most likely to be clocked
You should carefully consider the reliability of a vehicle before you buy it. Performance and quality should also be high on your list of priorities. Cars that rate well will typically give you very few problems and ensure you get from A to B over and over again. However, reliable vehicles such as the Toyota Yaris and Renault Clio are two of the most commonly clocked vehicles, so you need to ensure that you spend a little extra time shopping around for a dependable vehicle that hasn’t had its mileage tampered with. To be extra safe, you might want to avoid these popular cars and opt for a vehicle that’s less popular but just as trustworthy, such as a Ssangyong.
Inspect the car’s condition
The condition of both the inside and outside of a vehicle can be a telltale sign as to whether it has been clocked or not. Vehicles that have done a lot of miles tend to have multiple dents, scratches and other imperfections. The inside of the vehicle is also likely to show signs of wear and tear on and around the seating areas. You might think that buying a clocked car isn’t an issue as long as it’s in full working order, but the more miles that a car has done, the more it will cost you in the long run, as mechanical issues are likely to occur. The Express reports that this ultimately costs drivers an extra £800 million (€865 million) per year as they are forced to pay out for costly repairs.
Thousands of motors in the UK have had their mileage clocked. And while this might not sound like the worst offense, it is costly and could potentially put you at risk, so it’s important that you know how to identify one and that legal action continues to take place.