- Buyers could lose thousands of pounds in used car scam
Car clocking is illegal and sellers who are caught changing the figure shown on the dial could face police action.
Research conducted last year found car clocking was becoming even more common in an increased risk for road users.
Data experts HPI found just one in 14 cars in the UK have had their mileages clocked compared to one in 16 back in 2017 and one in 20 back in 2014.
The 30 percent increase across five years is now said to cost road users around £800million each year in extra vehicle costs.
Prospective buyers will often pay more for a car with fewer miles on the understanding the car is fresher and may require less maintenance.
Analysis from Scrap Car Comparison shows road users could pay up to £4,000 more for a Range Rover Evoque with 60,000 fewer miles.
How to avoid buying a clocked car
Modern cars often feature electrical mileage readouts meaning it can be harder to spot whether a car has been tampered with.
Previously you could check whether the mileage dials all lined up correctly as a way of quickly identifying whether a car had been altered.
Barry Shorto, head of industry relations at HPI said: “The continued development of technologies to alter digital odometers, easy access to this technology via the internet and similarly, the ease of access to mileage adjustment services online, some of whom will behave legitimately, others less so, are all exacerbating the trend.
“The increase in mileage-related finance arrangements such as PCP and PCH may also be a contributing factor as motorists look to avoid costly penalties for exceeding mileage allowances.”
However, motorists can still avoid purchasing a vehicle with a clocked mileage by taking some simple precautions while behind the wheel.
Checking a vehicle’s service history is the first clue to identifying whether a car has been tampered with as mileage statistics are recorded.
- Shocking used car scam could be secretly costing you thousands
Looking through previous services for any discrepancies or bizarre mileage readouts could be a clear sign of a problem.
According to the RAC, dishonest sellers may purchase a new service book or tried to fake a previous file to not draw attention to the issue.
Contacting the previous keeper of a car to see what mileage the sold the car which could be essential if you have suspicions to avoid being caught out.
Looking at the condition of the vehicle can also act as a vital indicator to identify whether a vehicle could have been clocked.
A car with a battered interior that has just 40,000 miles on the clock may look out of place and suspicious to road users.
HPI says fraudulent sellers could be hiding serious levels of wear and tear which mean the additional cost of unexpected repairs will be higher.
Admiral insurance says road users should consider getting an online history check of a vehicle they are planning to buy.
These checks will compare your car to the National Mileage Register which will give you an accurate reading of what the true number should be.
Checking the mileage clock regulatory through the purchase is also vital to avoid being caught out.
Some sellers decide to lower the car mileage down when you first see the vehicle and then put this back up to its true value before the transaction is completed to ensure they cannot be held liable.
Mr Shorto added: “It can be almost impossible to tell a clocked vehicle just by looking at it, which makes a vehicle history check an even more vital form of protection for buyers.”
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