There will always be percentage of vehicle, and Citroens are no exception, that have covered excessive mileage and will be clocked (that is to say to have the mileage altered on the odometer to give a false visual mileage indicator) to give the owner / seller a much greater profit margin or higher vehicle sale value when selling it to an unsuspecting buyer.
When looking at vehicles always assume the mileage is untrue until you can establish the facts. Some dodgy sellers will go to great lengths to deceive and this can include made up service books , doctored MOT certificates, false invoices and a multitude of other less than legal practises. You must also assume that even the lovely older lady that lives in a nice district may have actually purchased her vehicle from a dodgy clocker, so always use the same approach whoever you buy from and never believe that something is true until you have established the fact.
There are many ways you can protect yourself from buying a clocked vehicle that has had the speedo tampered with and if you’re really not sure then the best thing is to just walk away.
Things to check and look out for
Always check the Citroen you are purchasing V5 (log book) before buying the vehicle and ask to take the document reference number (bottom left hand corner) as you can then authenticate the document. There are some forgeries out there now & details how to check are listed below.
Check the service history book and any receipts.
Check all the M.O.T.s (Mileages should go up and not down!!!)
Check the mileage and dates on all documents and make sure there are no discrepancies between mileage and dates, also when looking at the V5 see how long the registered keeper has kept the vehicle and where they lived. Do the service history stamps correspond with the same area as the registered keeper? You can now do an MOT history check if you have the up to date and genuine V5 document. Armed with the doc ref number and registration number, you can, on your computer go to motinfo.direct.gov.uksite and after inputting the relevant registration number and V5 doc ref number you can search all computerised mot dates and mileages for that particular vehicle. At the same time you can check all MOT failures and advisories. Sometime this free check alone is enough to put you off!
The site will not let you in unless you have the correct and up to date V5, This check is particularly useful with the modern speedos that can be easily altered with a laptop and the right piece of software.
If you are still unsure retain the telephone numbers of the servicing dealers in the service book and speak to them direct to authenticate the services.
Visually you can check the steering wheel, pedal rubbers, gear knobs, handbrake, drivers seat, door panels, switch gear and door shut rubbers for excessive ware but remember it is easy to replace gear knobs and rubbers, so if they look far too new alarm bells should start ringing,
Check tyre makes (including spare) as on low mileage vehicles they really should all be the same make,
Check front end of car for stone chips, there should at least be some even on low mileage if not check for recent paintwork.
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