What is clocking?

Clocking is the slang name for the crime of altering the odometer of a vehicle. It will almost always take the form of ‘rolling the clock back’ on a vehicle to make it appear that it has done less mileage. Criminals do this to increase the value of the car when they sell it. They don’t care that they’re ripping off buyers and possibly putting your safety at risk. When a car has been clocked you don’t know whether parts that are scheduled to be replaced at certain mileages have been replaced. So apart from risking your safety with an unroadworthy car, you may also end up paying far more fixing your car than you planned on.

Clocking only became a crime two years ago in Ireland but that doesn’t mean it has stopped. It has meant that criminals got a bit smarter about it and make it still harder to spot. It is estimated that 15% of cars are still clocked. Our advice is to:

  • Get a car history check – but make sure you do it on the right car eg. one verified by TrustHub.
  • Get a mechanic to have a look at it
  • Check the NCT certificate and the mileage history printed on it – TrustHub automatically does this for you.

There are also some clues to look out for whatever you choose to do. The average privately owned car does 17,000 km (10,500 miles) a year. One used for business may have 24,000km (15,000 miles) on the clock. If a car has substantially less mileage on the odometer than comparable examples look for:

  • excessive wear on the pedals
  • a shiny/worn steering wheel
  • worn gear knob
  • heavy wear and tear on the seats – for example sagging springs and worn seat covers

In general, you get a better deal when you buy and sell privately but you still have to keep your wits about you. Use TrustHub to help you buy and sell your car with confidence.


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