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Car Buyers At Risk Around the Clock

odometerOver 17 million* UK drivers are clueless as to whether they are driving a clocked car, according to new research released today from used car website Trusted Dealers.

A survey of 1,000 drivers carried out by leading car website NFDA Trusted Dealers found that nearly two thirds (57 per cent) of motorists don’t know how to check if their vehicle has been clocked despite new data revealing that up to one in twenty cars on UK roads – or 1.7 million vehicles – could be affected by odometer fraud.

Of those drivers surveyed, the majority (57 per cent) said they are worried about buying a car that has had its mileage altered.

The research by Trusted Dealers found that less than half of all car buyers know the appropriate checks they should make to ensure a used car is legitimate, legal and safe. Only 38 per cent of buyers said they know how to check for outstanding finance, 37 per cent know how to carry out a mechanical inspection and only 40 per cent know how to confirm if a motor had been stolen or a write off. A third of all drivers – a staggering 33 per cent – said they wouldn’t know where to start with any of the checks.

Car history checking company HPI estimates that used car buyers now have a one in 20 chance of purchasing a vehicle with a mileage discrepancy and with Trusted Dealers’ research showing the majority don’t what to look for in a clocked car, drivers are being put at risk.

Odometer fraud, sometimes referred to as ‘clocking’, is the practice of altering a vehicle’s odometer to show a lower mileage than that actually travelled, thereby increasing the re-sale value of the vehicle. Whilst knowingly selling a clocked car is fraud, it is not illegal to alter the mileage. Following a campaign by the NFDA and an investigation by The Sun newspaper, the Government has pledged to close the loophole.

There are an estimated 1.7 million clocked cars on UK roads today, up from 600,000 that were thought to be in use in 2010.

Neil Addley, Managing Director of NFDA Trusted Dealers, said:

“The survey findings show the danger that odometer fraud and clocking vehicles poses to UK motorists – it’s a growing problem and needs tackling head on by the Government.

Our results show that whilst people know how to check for vital safety elements of a car they’re purchasing, such as mechanical inspections, theft and write-off checks and outstanding finance, far fewer people would know how to check their vehicle hasn’t been clocked.

With technology becoming increasingly sophisticated and the internet offering even more opportunities for clockers to sell their services online, we’re calling for the Government to fast track its investigation into odometer fraud and outlaw the practice once and for all.”

Trusted Dealers is part of the National Franchised Dealer Association (NFDA), the UK’s leading retail motor industry body. The site, which lists cars from the country’s top dealerships, offers complete peace of mind for those buying a used car online.

The site has produced a handy video guide to help motorists know what to look for when buying a used car to ensure it’s not clocked.

  • The National Franchised Dealers Association represents franchised car and commercial vehicle dealers in the UK and lobbies on issues including manufacturer relationships, legislation, used cars, finance, insurance and aftersales. The NFDA’s membership now covers 85% of all dealer networks in the UK.
  • Survey of 1,000 motorists conducted by One Poll, August 2016