Calling time on second-hand clocked cars

Nottinghamshire residents considering buying a second-hand car are being made aware of a few simple checks to reduce the risk of buying a clocked vehicle.

The County Council’s Trading Standards team is advising residents to check a second-hand vehicle’s MOT history, which is available free of charge at

All people require is the vehicle’s registration number if it is over three years old, otherwise the vehicle will not have a MOT history.

Motorists are also advised to check closely that the condition of the vehicle is consistent with the mileage displayed on the dashboard screen.

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute believes car clocking instances are on the rise as cheap clocking software is readily available and lower mileages bring in higher sale prices.

Although the Council only received 24 car clocking complaints within the last year, UK vehicle history checking company HPI estimates that potentially one in sixteen vehicles checked by them has incorrect mileage displayed.

Councillor Gordon Wheeler, Vice-Chairman of the Council’s Communities and Place Committee, said: “Although a car’s MOT history only records its mileage history after it is three years old, it does show trends in usage and will reveal it has been clocked if the displayed mileage is lower than its records.

“Consumers also need to inspect thoroughly a second-hand vehicle inside and out before buying and be suspicious of significant wear and tear when it has a low display mileage.”

Residents with more information on this problem should contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06.

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