Used car clocking in on the rise in the UK
Used car clocking is on the rise in the UK, according to new reports.
Car clocking is the process of illegally altering the mileage of a car in an attempt to profit from it.
Vehicles with lower mileages usually attract an inflated price and it appears that this scam is growing in popularity.
According to new figures, one in 16 used cars on the roads have clocked milage which has risen from one in 20 from three years ago.
Around 2.3million cars on the road in the UK have clocked milage, which is why drivers are being encouraged to keep an eye out for it.
Clocking mileage can have serious ramifications, as well as losing the driver money.
It alters when motorist needs to service their car.
Certain car parts need servicing after a specific number of miles and clocked mileage completely skews these markers.
According to cap, hpi discrepancies caused by clocked milage is costing brits on average £800million a year.
Clocking is a serious blight on the used car industry
Techniques used by modern clockers are impacting crucial readings in Engine Control Units (ECUs), potentially leading to both safety and legal issues, warns Exchangeandmart.co.uk.
Around 10 per cent of all the modules in a modern car, such as the airbag, ABS and ignition, feed information into the central ECU system, and each time an event occurs – such as a faulty airbag warning – a ‘snapshot’ of the vehicle’s mileage will be recorded on these modules.
Therefore unless the clocker was particularly diligent these readings could all be out of sync with each other.
Clocked mileage is often done to add value to the car
This could interfere with normal routines for servicing and repair and could invalidate the manufacturer’s warranty.
There are legal consequences too in the event of an accident, as on board computers store information on a vehicle’s speed, which can be used in evidence.
After a vehicle’s been clocked, this data could be compromised, making it inadmissible as evidence.
Lynn Clark, Brand Manager for Exchange and Mart explains further, “Clocking is a serious blight on the used car industry, but fortunately, there are steps consumers can take to protect themselves.
Drivers are being warned about the rise in used car clocking
“Always check the vehicle’s mileage reading on documentation, such as service history and MOT records and compare it to the odometer in the car.
“Contact the previous keeper to make sure the current mileage reading adds up to what it was when they sold it to the current owner.
“Always trust your judgement; if the car is 7 years old with less than 4,000 miles on the clock, ask questions and look for signs of wear and tear. Worn seats, steering wheels and pedals are all tell-tale signs.
“And if in doubt, invest in a vehicle provenance check to validate the vehicle’s mileage reading and gain added peace of mind.”
EXCHANGE AND MART’S TIPS ON SPOTTING CAR CLOCKING
-Check the service history – Check the mileages displayed in the service history and look for service stamps from a genuine dealer. Ideally the service invoices will accompany the service history. If in doubt, contact the servicing dealers and check the mileages they recorded at the time of the service.
-Speak to the previous keeper – Get in contact with the previous keeper (details can be found on the V5/logbook). They can identify the mileage of the vehicle when they sold it. Make sure this adds up with the current mileage.
-Trust your judgement – Check who the car was last registered to on the V5. Was it registered as a company car but has done less than 12,000 miles per year? Or is it 15 years old with only 20,000 on the clock? Look for any evidence that indicates clocking.
-Check the mileage – It has been known for clockers to wind back the mileage when you first view the vehicle and then return it to its original reading once the transaction is complete. Make sure you check the mileage is the same when you pick up the vehicle.
-Look for signs of wear and tear – Does the wear and tear on the vehicle match its mileage? Be careful to look out for signs such as worn seats, steering wheels and other vehicle parts. Also look out for brand new easily replaceable parts; the wear and tear should be consistent with the vehicle’s displayed mileage.
-Conduct a vehicle provenance check – A provenance check will confirm what the mileage of the vehicle should be according to legitimate service and MOT records. Prices start from £1.99 but the higher priced vehicle history checks come with a Guarantee for financial peace of mind, should the information they provide prove to be inaccurate.