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The Telegraph online today reports that car clocking is on the increase, so it’s more important than ever to make sure your next used car has undergone the necessary checks to make sure it is a sound investment.
The latest figures from vehicle history expert HPI, reveal a 3 per cent increase of vehicle mileage discrepancies from last year, meaning that of the 6.8 million used cars sold in 2013, 7.15 per cent (or 486,000 of them) could have had their mileage adjusted.
Mileage has a significant factor in any car’s used value, so it pays to make sure that the mileage you start out with is indeed correct, otherwise you are set to lose a lot of money when it comes to resale. At Trusted Dealers, all of our used cars are HPI or Experian checked to give all of our customers peace of mind.
Clocking itself isn’t yet an illegal act in the UK, you can only break the law if you fail to declare that a car has been clocked before you sell it on. However, there are very few physical signs to indicate that a car has been clocked, meaning you could find yourself being prosecuted for a crime which you are completely unaware of, if you are in possession of a clocked car.
Furthermore, clocking is now getting easier and easier with the increase in digital dashboards. To adjust the mileage of a mechanical odometer, you would need to use a screwdriver which would usually leave some tell-tale marks around the instrument binnacle. Whereas to clock a more modern car, all thieves have to do is get someone with the relevant software to plug their computer into the on-board diagnostics port and the job is done.
A quick internet search by the Telegraph revealed plenty of companies around the UK who would do this type of thing with a starting price as little as £50 depending on the car and its complexity. And, it would be entirely legal on their part.
Shane Teskey, senior consumer services manager from HPI, which in 2011 created an e-petition to ask parliament for ‘mileage correction firms’ to be banned, said: “Research we conducted with CAP last year found that popular models such the VW Golf can double in value if they have 60,000 miles wound down. There is also a safety concern. Any vehicle that has done a lot more miles than the owner realises could have components that have been excessively worn, even if they look fine.”
Before the petition was closed, HPI had reached just 1,000 signatures. They needed 100 times that to have the issue debated in parliament. At the same time, the Government’s own Office of Fair Trading estimated that clocked cars cost duped owners £580m a year.
For further information on Trusted Dealers’ 10 Points of Difference promise to all of our buyers, which includes a mileage check, please visit www.trusteddealers.co.uk/10-points.