DEALERS are being warned by HPI after it has been revealed that UK roads have more than 600,000 clocked cars on them.
Figures released by the BBC reveal that more than 600,000 cars on Britain’s roads have been clocked – showing lower mileages and therefore increasing the car’s value.
This figure increases to 716,291 when vans and motorbikes are included.
Dealers need to be aware of the growing problem says HPI, who have recently joined the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and Trading Standards in calling for stricter enforcement of regulations to protect consumers.
Nicola Johnson, consumer services manager for HPI, said: ‘Unscrupulous sellers see the clocking of a vehicle as an easy way to raise its price and make some extra cash by putting thousands of pounds onto the price tag.
‘These latest figures just confirm that clocking is one of the greatest threats facing used car buyers today. Unfortunately modern digital odometers make it even easier for clocked vehicles to evade detection, as the traditional tell-tale signs of damage to screws or poorly aligned number is not visible.’
Earlier this year, the OFT revealed that false mileage was costing consumers £580 million a year, and has urged dealers and buyers to conduct mileage checks.
‘Working alongside the OFT and Trading Standards, we advise consumers to conduct a vehicle check as a means of protection against fraud,’ continues Johnson.
‘8 out of every 100 vehicles checked by HPI show a mileage discrepancy, highlighting the risks. Not only can these mileage discrepancies inflate the value of the vehicle, they could lead to safety risks if vehicles miss out on crucial servicing and replacement work for vital components.
‘However, the HPI Check comes with a mileage check as standard, offering consumers the ultimate in protection.’
Dealers should also be alerted to the benefits HPI services can bring to them. HPI’s National Mileage Register service contains over 130 million readings, while their HPI Check confirms vehicle descriptions and offers a financial guarantee.
However, in the first instance, dealers should be checking service history, speaking to the former keeper, trusting their judgement, checking mileage and for signs of wear and tear.