Mileage mistake MOT certificates

Wrong mileage on MOT certificate

Last updated March 10, 2023

It is a legal requirement to take your vehicle for an MOT once a year, unless it is under three years old or has MOT exemption. The compulsory annual MOT test comprises a series of standardised safety checks to ensure vehicles are safe and roadworthy.

After your MOT has been completed, you will be presented with an MOT certificate. This document will contain details of the test’s outcome - and key information about your vehicle, including its make and model, registration number, and the mileage readings from its most recent MOT tests.

This mileage data will usually be accurate. However, mistakes happen – and it is entirely possible that a mechanic has recorded your vehicle’s mileage incorrectly.

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Mileage discrepancies and ‘clocking’

Mileage discrepancies on an MOT certificate can also indicate that odometer tampering has taken place. For example, if the recorded mileage has ‘fallen’ by 20,000 since the last reading, it’s reasonable to suspect that this is the result of mileage fraud or ‘clocking’.

Unfortunately, an inaccurate mileage recording could cause problems for you further down the line. For instance, when the time comes to sell your car, car dealers or any potential private buyers may ask you to explain the mileage discrepancy. They may reduce their offer or even abandon the sale if they are not satisfied with your answer.

Therefore, if you notice an incorrect mileage reading on your MOT certificate, you should aim to get this resolved as promptly as you can. Read our guide to learn about how MOT mileages are recorded – and the process to follow if you discover an error has been made.

Where is my car’s mileage recorded?

Since 2012, MOT certificates have included a mileage reading taken at the time of the test. You can find this figure, along with up to three more readings, taken from the next most recent MOT tests in the ‘Mileage history’ section of your certificate.

Why do MOTs record mileages?

The DVLA started to incorporate recorded mileages into their MOT certificates to deter criminal clocking (turning back the odometer of a car to inflate its resale value).

If you are interested in buying a vehicle, but become suspicious that its mileage has been doctored, you should walk away from the sale. Clocked vehicles are often more susceptible to wear and tear – and serious mechanical issues, as their true mileage is typically much higher than the claimed figure.

How can I check my MOT’s recorded mileage?

You can check your MOT’s recorded mileage by entering your reg number into our free MOT checker. This will show you the recorded mileages from each MOT interval, in addition to the MOT status and history of your car.

What to do if the mileage is wrong on my MOT

If you’ve discovered an incorrect mileage recording on your MOT certificate, don’t fret.

You’ll have 28 days after your test date to ask the tester to correct the error. They should then issue you with a new certificate. If not, the mileage record will be frozen - and cannot be changed. So, as soon as you get your MOT certificate, let the tester know right away if it’s wrong; make this a part of your own MOT checklist.

Should you find yourself in the situation where you have the wrong mileage on your MOT certificate and the 28-day window has passed, you can appeal to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) directly.

This will involve sending proof of the true mileage, such as an MOT invoice, an emissions printout, a service receipt, or a vehicle job card from the MOT centre. You should email scans or photographs of the relevant documents to

Can I fix a wrong mileage on my MOT?

You cannot fix this yourself. An MOT certificate is an official document that can’t be edited. Therefore, you should follow the process above to rectify any mileage errors.

How else can I check my car’s mileage?

You can check your car’s mileage via its service records. For a more detailed explanation, please refer to our guide, ‘How to check car service history’.

Can you sell a car with a mileage discrepancy?

Yes, it is possible to sell a car with a mileage discrepancy. However, your car valuation may be reduced due to the vehicle’s ambiguous mileage. Many buyers may also be suspicious that the vehicle has been ‘clocked’, which could make it more difficult to sell the car privately.

Therefore, if possible, you should rectify any mileage discrepancies promptly to avoid any such issues when the time comes to sell your vehicle.