FAQ - Is this car clocked?

Thanks to some recent publicity around the dishonest practice of 'car clocking' we are now receiving some really good questions from private buyers who think a car they're buying may have been clocked.
The fact that you're reading this page means it's highly likely that you have purchased a Motorcheck report and found that the vehicle you're checking has an odometer discrepancy.
To explain what this could mean we decided to publish the following guide which should give you some ideas on how to proceed.

What does an 'Odometer Discrepancy' mean?

A Motorcheck report automatically alerts you to an odometer discrepancy when we find two (or more) odometer readings that conflict with each other. By conflicting we mean that one reading on your report is lower than a previously recorded one.

Is there any leeway before a discrepancy is highlighted?

Yes. We take the responsibility of highlighting possible cases of clocking seriously and prefer not to highlight cases where it's likely that an offending reading was simply mis-entered as opposed to anything more serious.
To achieve this we take the following view - Where the difference in two readings is no greater than 2,500 Kilometers and the time between them is less than 1 year - we don't highlight a discrepancy. Otherwise we do.

Are all mileage discrepancies proof of a car having been clocked?

None of our warnings constitue actual proof. They should be considered as a serious issue that needs to be addressed before completing a purchase.

Is it possible that there could be an odometer reading showing that's not correct?

Of course. We rely on a variety of data contributors for our mileage data and as the majority of readings were at one point entered by a human being there's always the chance of a human error cropping up.

Is there any way of identifying an incorrect reading?

This can be tricky as each report is different but most of the errors we encounter are easy enough to identify.
Typically they occur in the middle of an established pattern and stand out like a sore thumb. If the odometer history shows a progressive increase (as you would expect) only to be broken in the middle by one rogue entry, it's highly likely that this record was submitted incorrectly.

What does a clocked car look like?

Usually a car that has had its odometer tampered with will demonstrate a pattern before and after the mileage was clocked. You'll notice a significant drop at a point in time only to see the readings increase again from the lower point.

Is there anyone I can call if I have a question?

Of course. You can call a member of our help team directly at +353 (0)1 8839230 anytime between 9 and 5, Monday to Friday. We're only too happy to look at any report you might like a second opinion on and if necessary for your peace of mind we will double check the source of any problem entry.

Will Motorcheck amend an odometer reading?

Yes of course. If we satisfy ourselves that the reading on file in the Irish National Mileage Register is incorrect we will have it amended and issue a new report free of charge.

Motorcheck Blog· Galway dealer fined 1200 Euro for car clocking offence - February 08, 2012 at 11:06 am
[...] since been done.In a sitting of Galway Distric Court yesterday Judge Mary Fahy described the act of clocking as ‘a serious offense which merited a large fine’. Mr. Tabachuk was fined €1,200 and [...]