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I thought I'd post this for the benefit of prospective buyers.

Initially I was acutely embarrassed about having bought a clocked T5, especially having a bit of professional experience in the motor trade around used vehicles. But I'm over that now and actually I'm really enjoying putting the vendor under the stress of a civil action to recover a substantial amount of money.

In June 2012, after wanting a Transporter for about 10 yrs, I sold a pile of photography gear to raise £7k. I wanted a T5 Shuttle, Kombi or Caravelle yet I knew that realistically, I was going to be somewhat at the bottom of the market. Whatever I bought would have high milage, some signs of wear and probably need a bit of tidying. I had no expectations of concours, just a good useable vehicle that with a bit of investment could be made presentable.

After looking at a couple of T4's and about half a dozen T5's, a private style add by a trader about 20mls away showed a 2005 1.9 Shuttle in bright red shown as high motorway miles. When I saw the vehicle it showed 163,000 miles with a pretty immaculate interior, a worn drivers seat, shiny steering wheel and pedals and a few bumps and scrapes on the bodywork.

When I drove the vehicle, it was pretty good, a bit of a clunk from the front strut at one side and clearly a strut top bearing gone at the other. The vehicle was like Joan collins, alright from a distance but a touch rough up close. It had clearly done some work, but everything was there. £6k for the van, I had a grand left over, bit of bodywork, get the mechanicals sorted and a service, set of used alloys, window tint and I'd have what I wanted.

The trader was apparently dead up front, right from the start he went down the path of "it's been a taxi, it has no history but it is what it is. It's high milage but you can see that" A handful of back street garage bills for the last couple of months was some consolation.

So a HPI check, look at the V5 and check of the numbers against the VIN and engine, and a MOT from three weeks previous all seemed to fit in and show nothing untoward.

During my first year of ownership, the van has had to have the following

Full top end rebuild on the engine (cam/injectors/followers/valves etc)
New gearbox bearings
DMF (and clutch as it's madness not to both)
3x new brake calipers
Whole set of rear suspension bushes
Front bottom ball joints
CV Joint

Throughout this year, it had been nagging at me that everyone says that "Transporters, oh they're just run in at 150,000 miles". Perhaps I was just unlucky, perhaps being an airport taxi was hard on them due to being loaded often.....

Last week she had her first MOT in my ownership. VOSA have brought in the MOT history on the certificate. Imagine the moment of dawning when I saw that the van was MOT'd six weeks previous to my purchase at 380,000miles, and then four weeks later at 160,000.

I'm over it largely now, I'm in the position where I have a really well sorted van that I've got about £10k in but my solicitors are optimistic about being able to recover around £7k. So it might well turn out that I end up with a van that I have no intention of changing, is well sorted and owes me £3k........

Rather amusingly (I plugged in VAG Com to do a diognostic and alter something and the true milage was there for all to see)

So what's the moral - I suppose it's that these fantastic vehicles are indeed tough as old boots, but a 400k vehicle can be clocked by 200k and still look plausible.
 

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Also via a VAGCOM
Clocking is rife on used Transporters.
What percentage is speculation
Maybe 25%?
 

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I,m still trying to get my head round the fact it had done 380000 miles. For a T5 I think we have witnessed a miracle LOL:
 

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I,m still trying to get my head round the fact it had done 380000 miles. For a T5 I think we have witnessed a miracle LOL:
Mate is up to 358000 in his 55 reg T:
 

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Should vosa not flag this up as it is clearly on the previous Mot's ??? It wouldnt be too hard for them would it.
I have noticed that a recent MOT has the mileage showing at test and the mileage showing at the previous test.....as it appears to be a new addition to the certificate I am not sure if in time you may have a long list of dates and mileage showing...
 

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I think now the mot shows the last 4 or so mot mileage figures but in theory the only way of knowing for sure is via data from the vehicle as anyone could shave miles off between mot's. sounds silly but not if someone is doing 50+ k a year.
 

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Its actually not illegal to clock a vehicle when its in your ownership. After all it you vehicle to do with what you want.
It is illegal however to sell it on and not tell the new owner.

What have the garage said so far?
 

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Have you aked at vw service if they have any records of service history?or contacted the previous owner for the records?it would be nice to have this stuff if can get it.
How is it possible for you to recover 7 k on a vehicle you payed 6 for?surely a dealer would be obliged to give you your money back or make an offer of compensation in th difference in value to what you payed? I'd guess that would be 2 k tops?
I noticed that milage thing on the mot.what a great idea.it's a pain you have to know the v5 details to get the mot info
 

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I'm not shocked by this, I learnt the hard way buying a t4 that had 150k taken off and i didn't suspect a thing until I took it to get re mapped and was told of the actual mileage.
Since then I have just decided to go for genuine high mileage t4's.
Some twit in Scotland tried to sell me a Low mileage T4 that had obviously done allot more, came in from Ireland.
Always need to see it in person, an ebay picture isn't enough.

Please be careful guys, Forging service history is easy too.

Its so funny when you see someone try and tell you that its low mileage and that its just had a full engine rebuild????
Why would it need a rebuild if it was low mileage?
I have a T4 tdi with 225k on and the engine has never been touched, other than a good service every year.
It runs like new and doesn't smoke.

Some people will do anything for a few quid.
 

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yep me too feel a sick as a pig,found out that my t5 2.5tdi had 100,00 miles knocked of it.Went down the blokes house to sort it out with him but even then found out he moved abroad.cost me 6 weeks ago replacement gearbox, new dual mass flywheel and new clutch £2000 and now engine has gone going up the m3 and looking for a rebuild to anyone who might know around the portsmouth area!
 

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The trader was apparently dead up front, right from the start he went down the path of "it's been a taxi, it has no history but it is what it is. It's high milage but you can see that"
An average of 23k per annum for a taxi ?

That alone should have been enough to prompt further checks, at least with the previous owner/keeper.

Good luck with the case.
 

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Seems to be a lot of this about at the minute.
I would say its better to pay a slight premium and buy used through the dealer network.
At least then you have some assuranceT:
 

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When I have a vehicle in for whatever reason we always check the mileage.

I would be more than happy to check the mileage free of charge for anyone thinking of buying a van (as long as they can get it to us on the test drive T: otherwise I'm driving half way around Hampshire not paying the mortgage).
 

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Iam currently looking for a T5, and this is what really scares the s*** out of me
do I buy from a dealer and pay over the odds or do I take my chance and buy private ?
Also what is classed as exceptable milage on a t5 ??

Why isnt life simple :*
 

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Iam currently looking for a T5, and this is what really scares the s*** out of me
do I buy from a dealer and pay over the odds or do I take my chance and buy private ?
Also what is classed as exceptable milage on a t5 ??

Why isnt life simple :*
TBH, if you are that concerned buy from a VW dealer for the peace of mind.

With T5's being commercial vehicles an annual millage of 25 > 30k is not uncommon, so a lot of the early ones will be approaching or exceeding 200k.
 
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