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How to Check a Car Mileage Is Genuine in the United Kingdom

When purchasing a used car in the United Kingdom, it is important to verify the mileage displayed on the vehicle’s odometer to ensure it is genuine. Tampering with mileage is unfortunately a common practice in the used car market, which can lead to potential issues and financial loss for the buyer. Here are some steps you can take to check the car mileage is genuine:

1. Vehicle Service History: Obtain the vehicle’s service history from the seller or dealer. This will help you verify the mileage recorded during each service and detect any inconsistencies or sudden jumps in mileage.

2. MOT Records: Access the MOT history of the vehicle on the government’s official website. The MOT test records the mileage of the car at the time of the test, allowing you to compare it with the current reading.

3. Online Vehicle Check Services: Utilize reliable online vehicle check services that provide comprehensive reports on a car’s history, including mileage data. These services often access various databases to cross-reference information and identify any discrepancies.

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4. Visual Inspection: Inspect the physical condition of the car, paying attention to factors such as wear and tear on the seats, pedals, steering wheel, and gear knob. If the mileage seems suspiciously low for the condition of the vehicle, it may indicate tampering.

5. Documentation: Check the paperwork thoroughly, including the V5C logbook, service records, and MOT certificates. Cross-reference the mileage mentioned in these documents with the current reading on the odometer.

6. Independent Inspection: Consider getting an independent inspection from a qualified mechanic or engineer. They can assess the overall condition of the car and look for any signs of mileage tampering or discrepancy.

7. HPI Check: Perform an HPI check, which provides information on the vehicle’s history, including mileage. This will help you uncover any outstanding finance, insurance write-offs, or mileage discrepancies associated with the car.


1. Are mileage discrepancies common in the UK used car market?
Unfortunately, yes. Mileage tampering is a prevalent issue, and buyers must be cautious.

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2. Can I trust the mileage recorded in the service history?
While the service history is a good starting point, it is essential to cross-reference it with other sources, as it can also be altered.

3. Is it legal to change the car’s mileage?
No, it is illegal to alter or misrepresent a car’s mileage in the UK.

4. How accurate are online vehicle check services?
Online vehicle check services access various databases to provide accurate information, but it’s always wise to double-check with multiple sources.

5. Can mileage be tampered with in modern cars?
Yes, even modern cars can be subjected to mileage tampering, although it may be more challenging due to advanced technology.

6. What are the consequences of buying a car with tampered mileage?
Buying a car with tampered mileage can result in financial loss, hidden mechanical issues, and potential safety risks.

7. What other factors should I consider when purchasing a used car?
Alongside mileage, consider the overall condition, service history, previous owners, and a thorough test drive before making a decision.

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