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How to Check the Car Mileage in the United Kingdom

As a car owner, it is important to stay informed about the mileage of your vehicle. Knowing the exact mileage can help you determine the car’s value, assess its condition, and make informed decisions regarding maintenance and resale. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to check your car’s mileage in the United Kingdom.

1. Start by locating the vehicle’s odometer. In most cars, it is located on the dashboard, behind the steering wheel.

2. Ensure the car is turned off and the key is removed from the ignition.

3. Take a close look at the odometer display. It will show the total mileage accumulated by the vehicle.

4. Note down the mileage reading for future reference.

5. Additionally, you can check the service history of the car. Service records often include mileage information, allowing you to cross-reference the readings and ensure their accuracy.

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6. If you are purchasing a used car, it is recommended to have a vehicle history check. Various online services provide comprehensive vehicle reports, including mileage verification, accident history, and more.

7. In case you suspect tampering or discrepancy in the mileage, contact the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) in the UK. They have the authority to investigate such matters and take necessary actions.


1. Can I rely solely on the car’s odometer reading?
While the odometer reading is a good starting point, it is not foolproof. Some unscrupulous sellers may tamper with the mileage. Always cross-reference the reading with service records and consider a vehicle history check.

2. Is mileage important when selling a car?
Yes, mileage plays a significant role in determining a car’s value. Generally, lower mileage is preferred, as it indicates less wear and tear on the vehicle.

3. Can I reset or alter the mileage on my car?
No, tampering with the mileage is illegal in the UK. It is a criminal offense known as “clocking” and can result in fines and even imprisonment.

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4. Do electric cars have an odometer?
Yes, electric cars have odometers just like traditional petrol or diesel cars.

5. What happens if I discover the mileage has been tampered with?
If you suspect tampering, report it to the DVSA. They will conduct an investigation, and if found guilty, the seller can face legal consequences.

6. How does mileage affect car insurance?
Insurance companies often consider mileage as a factor when determining premiums. Higher mileage may result in higher insurance costs.

7. Can I reset the mileage after getting a new engine?
No, resetting the mileage after getting a new engine is illegal. The mileage should accurately reflect the overall usage of the car.