Across the UK, these companies are turning back the miles on used cars, helping certain sellers push up the price of vehicles. One in 20 cars checked with HPI show a discrepant mileage, and this figure has risen by 10 per cent in the last five years.
Dealers need to tackle the threat of ‘clocking’ head on, as they risk unwittingly part-exchanging ‘clocked’ vehicles and selling them on to customers, putting their business and their reputation at risk.
Daniel Burgess, managing director for HPI, said: ‘Dealers are well aware that clocking itself isn’t illegal, but selling a clocked car without declaring its true mileage is.
‘Whilst there is rarely a legitimate reason to alter the mileage on a vehicle, Trading Standards estimates there are 50 mileage correction firms operating in Britain.
Change to the law
‘Some of these companies will be exploiting a legal loophole that could help unscrupulous sellers make a fast profit at the expense of dealers and consumers alike. We’re calling for a change to the law and dealers should be too. Our e-petition will give motorists and the motor industry a chance for their voice to be heard.’
Dealers should conduct a mileage check as a matter of course, but particularly on any car that has had more than one owner.
A full National Mileage Register (NMR) Investigation not only checks against 150 million mileage records but also ensures previous keepers are contacted to verify mileages at the time they sold the vehicle.
A mileage warranty is also included as part of the investigation, so if the car turns out to be clocked, dealers will be covered.
By operating best practice, dealers can sell with confidence and meet their duty of care under the Consumer Protection Regulations.
Burgess added: ‘HPI continues to raise awareness of the threat of clocking and other used car fraud, but whilst mileage correction firms operate, fraudsters make easy money.
‘We are launching our e-petition to fight back and make the Government take action. We urge the dealer community to visit get behind the e-petition and close down mileage correction firms for good.’