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How to Check Mileage on a Car in the United Kingdom

Knowing the mileage of a car is crucial when buying or selling a vehicle in the United Kingdom. Mileage can greatly impact the value and condition of a car, so it is important to verify the accuracy of the reported mileage. Here are a few methods to check the mileage on a car in the UK.

1. Paperwork: Start by reviewing the car’s paperwork, including the logbook (V5C), service history, and MOT certificates. These documents often contain recorded mileage information.

2. Service Records: Look for service records that show the mileage at each service. These records are usually maintained by authorized dealerships or reputable service centers.

3. MOT History: The UK government’s website allows you to check a vehicle’s MOT history online. This database provides details of past MOT tests, including recorded mileage.

4. Mileage Check Services: Several online services provide vehicle history checks that include mileage verification. These services often require the car’s registration number and provide a comprehensive report on the vehicle’s history.

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5. Visual Inspection: Examine the car’s condition, including the wear and tear on the pedals, steering wheel, and seats. If the mileage is significantly higher than the condition suggests, it may be a cause for concern.

6. Odometer Tampering: Watch out for signs of tampering on the car’s odometer. Look for loose or misaligned digits, scratches, or any unusual gaps between the numbers.

7. Consult an Expert: If you are unsure about the accuracy of the mileage, consider consulting an independent mechanic or a professional vehicle inspector who can assess the car and provide an accurate mileage reading.


1. Can I trust the mileage on a car’s advert?
Answer: It’s always prudent to verify the mileage yourself using the methods mentioned above. Some adverts may have inaccurate or tampered mileage.

2. Is it legal to alter the mileage on a car?
Answer: No, it is illegal to alter or tamper with a car’s mileage. Doing so can result in penalties and criminal charges.

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3. How often should I check the mileage on my car?
Answer: It is recommended to check your car’s mileage at least once a year or before any major purchase or sale.

4. Can I change the mileage on a digital odometer?
Answer: Digital odometers are more difficult to tamper with but can still be altered. Always cross-check the mileage with other sources.

5. Can a car’s mileage be reset after a battery replacement?
Answer: In some cases, disconnecting the battery may cause the odometer to reset or display incorrect mileage. However, it should not affect the recorded mileage in the vehicle’s history.

6. How can I spot mileage tampering on a digital dashboard?
Answer: Look for any discrepancies between the mileage displayed and the car’s overall condition. Inconsistencies may indicate tampering.

7. Can I report a seller for mileage fraud?
Answer: Yes, if you suspect mileage fraud, you can report it to the police or Trading Standards. Providing evidence and details will help in their investigation.

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