James Rup­pert

Avoid odome­ter fraud by choos­ing a mega-mileage mo­tor

Autocar - - THIS WEEK - James Rup­pert

Big-mileage cars you can trust

Avoid be­ing taken for a ride by sharptalk­ing wide boys

Clock­ing: that’s what it used to be called in the old days. I sup­pose the term im­plied that it was be­ing car­ried out by a love­able Arthur Da­ley char­ac­ter, when in fact it should have more ac­cu­rately been de­scribe as mileage fraud.

What­ever we call it these days, there is ev­i­dence that the prac­tise is as preva­lent as ever, de­spite our cars con­tain­ing more ad­vanced tech­nol­ogy. Ac­cord­ing to Carly Con­nected Car, which deals in mo­bile car elec­tron­ics, at least 18% of all ve­hi­cles in London are dis­play­ing an in­cor­rect mileage. That’s 3% above the na­tional av­er­age and equates to al­most five mil­lion ve­hi­cles in to­tal. The cap­i­tal, Birm­ing­ham, Manchester and Leeds are the top four UK re­gions for mileage fraud.

Es­sen­tially, the mes­sage here seems to be to avoid search­ing for your next used car bar­gain in those nasty cities where you could be taken for a ride by sharp-talk­ing wide boys – and they will be boys, or at least men who should know better.

One of the tac­tics we can em­ploy to put these un­scrupu­lous types out of busi­ness is to em­brace those cars with odome­ter read­ings so high that there is noth­ing to be gained by clock­ing them. A used mo­tor with a star­ship mileage on its clock isn’t go­ing to shoot up in value if a rogue dealer plugs in a lap­top and wipes away a few thou­sand miles.

So what can we find with more than 200,000 miles on the clock? A quick search on the in­ter­web throws up a glut of con­tenders. We’re told that diesels are aw­ful things, but the flip side to that ar­gu­ment is that they go on and on. A 2007 Volvo S40 2.0TD with 211,000 miles is still with us and up for sale at just un­der a grand.

If that is a bit too sa­loony for you, then a VW Golf is a very solid al­ter­na­tive. A 2004 2.0 TDI GT with an epic 240,000 miles is up for a solid £1250. A BMW is al­ways go­ing to be a class pur­chase and an 07-plate 320d SE with­out any is­sues and 220,000 miles on the odome­ter is a good choice at £1500.

Cheap cars are easy, but you need nerves of steel to in­vest in the real heavy metal high-mil­ers. With that in mind, a 2012 Mercedes-benz E250 CDI with Blue­ef­fi­ciency at­tach­ments and Avant­garde ap­point­ments is £5495. Yes, that is good value, but it also has a whop­ping 290,000 miles.

There are plenty of Volk­swa­gen Trans­porters and Toy­ota Land Cruis­ers with epic mileages. A 2009 Lexus LS 600h luxo-barge with 250,000 miles at £10,950 is tempt­ing.

When in doubt, then, buy a used car with a big odome­ter read­ing.

A diesel-en­gined Volvo S40 should just run and run

Even with a star­ship mileage, a Lexus LS 600h is about £10k

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