The importance of a mileage check
Your car’s mileage, as the name suggests, is the number of miles your car has travelled since its registration.
In this blog, we’ll talk about all the reasons a mileage check is important, when to check a car’s mileage and why is mileage recorded during your annual MOT test. We’ll also let you know the easiest way for you to check your car’s mileage yourself.
What is car mileage and why is it important
Your car’s mileage refers to the distance your car has travelled since it was first manufactured.
There are various reasons your car mileage will need to be checked:
- Assessing vehicle value: a car’s mileage plays a significant role in determining its value. Generally, a car with lower mileage tends to be worth more than one with a higher mileage because it has experienced less wear and tear
- Maintenance schedule: drivers often use their car mileage as an indication to get car maintenance or repair work done, like oil changes, tyre rotations and brake inspections
How to perform a mileage check
Checking your car's mileage is straightforward.
The total mileage is usually displayed on the car's dashboard, typically behind the steering wheel. Here's how you can check your car mileage:
- Turn the car on: you don't need to start the engine; just turning the ignition on will do
- Locate the odometer: it is usually a digital or mechanical display that shows a series of numbers
- Read the mileage: the number displayed is the total distance your vehicle has travelled since it was manufactured
Don’t have access to the car right now? Check the recorded mileage during the last MOT mileage check in Caura! Here’s how:
- Download Caura for free
- Enter the reg plate of the vehicle
- Tap on ‘MOT’
Why MOT testers record car mileage
A lower car mileage often increases a car’s resale value. A recent study by HPI showed that one in 11 cars on the used car market have changed their mileage by rolling it back, equating to roughly 2.5 million cars with incorrect mileage. That’s a 45% increase in the number of “clocked” cars over the last five years.
The DVLA prevents mileage fraud by having MOT testers record the vehicle mileage annually.
Other reasons MOT testers record mileage include:
- Proof of vehicle usage history: by documenting the mileage during each MOT test, a clear history of the vehicle's use is established. This can be invaluable for prospective buyers, as it helps them understand how much the vehicle has been used and whether it corresponds with its age and condition
- Maintenance and safety checks: the recorded mileage can assist mechanics in predicting potential wear and tear issues based on the vehicle's usage. This can help them perform necessary checks and services to maintain the car's safety standards
Remember, MOT tests, including mileage records, are publicly available in the UK. Therefore, it is essential for car owners to ensure the recorded mileage is accurate during each test. You can check a vehicle’s mileage and up-to-date MOT history in Caura.
When should you do a mileage check?
Checking a car's mileage should be part of regular vehicle maintenance and awareness, but there are circumstances when it becomes particularly important:
- Before long journeys: if you're about to set off on a long journey, it's helpful to note the mileage at the start. This can provide useful information about your fuel efficiency and the distance your car covers on the trip
- Before or after service or repair: Knowing your car's mileage before and after maintenance services can help you determine when the next service is due
- When buying or selling a car: if you're in the market for a used car, always check and verify the mileage to understand the car's value and condition better. Likewise, if you're selling, be prepared to provide accurate mileage information to potential buyers
In conclusion, the habit of frequently checking car mileage will make you more aware of your vehicle's health, ensure it receives timely maintenance, and helps car buyers make an informed decision.