Join Date: May 2012
Location: Surrey, United Kingdom
Odometer reset to zero after full restoration.
I saw a classic 1970's Yamaha 50cc moped for sale on eBay and it has had a full nut and bolt restoration. It is basically like brand new now. So I am reading the description and looking at the pictures, and I notice that the odometer has been set back to zero. Well it is showing just under 3 miles now as they have ridden it a little since. And in the text it says ultra low mileage, 3 miles since restoration. Not sure if the speedometer was restored or replaced with an NOS one.
So basically I was wondering where people stand on this. The vehicle does not matter what it is, bike, car, etc. The above is just what I happened to see.
In the UK it is an offence to wind the odometer back, but I am not sure what happens in the situation where an odometer breaks and needs to be replaced with a new one. In the days of mechanical odometers, it was a common thing with dodgy used car dealers to wind the miles back on a car and replace a few things like the gear stick knob, pedal rubbers, etc and pass it off as a lower mileage car.
When I say wind the miles back, I do not mean like in Ferris Bueller's Day Off with the Ferrari and leaving it running in reverse. It is just a term and I mean taking the odometer apart and doing internally.
I had a similar'ish situation with my motorbike and my speedometer broke and was unfixable as the delicate spring for the needle had snapped. So I purchased a used one on eBay and fitted that. But before I fitted it, I took it apart and set the miles exactly to what my old one had. How I feel about what I did is that I am being honest and not trying to deceive anyone with a different mileage. It is hard to wind the miles back now in the UK as for a long time our yearly inspection logs the mileage, so you could only wind it back to the mileage of the last inspection at the most.
To me the mileage of a vehicle does not matter as long as it has been looked after, regular maintenance has been done and it has not been neglected. And especially with an older classic vehicle, the mileage is almost irrelevant and the condition of the car ( paint, rust, etc ) is more important. I could not care less about an old Mustang having 200,000 or more miles on it. I guess with newer vehicles the mileage does matter, but I never buy newer vehicles to have that worry. I think a well maintained and looked after car wears its high mileage with pride. Who was that guy on YouTube with the million mile Lexus LS400?
This reminds me of a joke. A man is trying to sell his car. His friend asks him how it is going. He says he is having trouble selling it because of the high mileage. So his friend says he should wind the odometer back and then sell it. A few weeks later they meet up again. His friend asks him if he has sold the car yet. And he says that with the lower mileage he decided keep it.