Buyers urged to protect themselves as clocked cars top 600,000 mark

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Buyers beware as the Office of Fair Trading, Trading Standards and HPI are urging consumers to protect themselves from fraudulent used car sellers.

New figures released by the BBC, reveal that more than 600,000 cars on Britain's roads have been clocked so they show lower mileages and thus increase the used value when offered for sale.

This figure increases to a shocking 716,291 when vans and motorbikes are included and further highlight the need for buyers to protect themselves from unscrupulous sellers. To avoid disappointment and financial loss, the OFT suggest buyers avoid mileage disclaimers and instead do a full check from companies such as HPI.

For example, HPI's National Mileage Register (NMR) which is used by dealers and manufacturers contains over 130 million readings, giving buyers extra confidence.

To make sure you don't get caught out, follow these guidelines:

Check the service history - Check the mileage recorded in the service history matches the figure in the car and look for service stamps from a genuine dealer. Service invoices with the service history are another form of useful evidence. If in doubt, contact the servicing dealers and check the mileage 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 logbook). They should be able to tell you the mileage of the car 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 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 value once the transaction is complete. Keep a note of mileage so you check it's the same as when you pick up the vehicle.


Look for signs of wear and tear - Does the wear and tear on the vehicle match its mileage? Look out for signs such as worn seats, steering wheels and pedals. Also, look out for new parts that don't correspond with the vehicles displayed mileage.

Conduct a mileage check - HPI's National Mileage Register has over 135 million mileages recorded on it, and can identify mileage issues against the vehicle.