Has your car been clocked?

A recent study by Cap HPI, a vehicle history check provider, has found that many cars in the UK have a discrepancy between there actual and apparent mileage. In fact, recent figures suggest that one in every sixteen vehicles on the roads in the UK have been clocked. Clocking is where the mileage on the dashboard indicates a value that is different from the actual mileage the vehicle has completed. So, how can you tell if your car has been clocked?

It is no surprise that clocking is so prevalent. After all, a typical second-hand car will gain up to £4,000 in value for every 60,000 miles that are removed from the odometer reading.

While many people thought clocking no longer was in practice as digital readers have replaced analogue odometers. However, criminals have found techniques to clock modern cars by using software to make alterations. As a result, on average, 40% of car dealers have bought a car that they have then found to have been clocked.

Reasons why clocking has increased
While car clocking has been a practice used for decades to help increase car sales, research has found that more and more car owners are using the practice, rather than car traders that typically clocked cars for their financial gain in the past.

One of the reasons that have driven up the practice of clocking is the fact that more people are utilising personal contract purchase and contract hire which will usually have mileage limits. If the car exceeds the limit, the owner will typically face a high fee for every additional mile driven. By clocking the vehicle, drivers will escape the penalty for excess mileage.

The problem with car clocking
The primary issue of car clocking is the fact that motorists could be put in danger. Major components in the car may be closer to the end of their life than you may expect, given the mileage. This may mean you fail to check them when they actually need replacing. If critical components are not replaced when they need to it could cause problems on the roads leading to breakdowns and accidents.

How to avoid buying a clocked car
1. Check its service history
2. Look for any inconsistencies in mileage between MOT documents
3. Check with garages that have stamped the service book of their records
4. Check the condition of the vehicle
5. Go for a test drive
6. Check if traders state that mileage isn’t verified.
7. Check the vehicle when you first see it and when you buy it, in case the seller has put the original mileage back on.

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