If you have never considered the possibility that car clocking exists, think about it now. It is sadly a practice that happens a great deal because it is an extremely lucrative act that adds more value to the vehicle. Clocking simply means turning the odometer back. By losing 1,000 miles off the clock, the sale price increases by up to £400.
Clocked cars actually pose a huge problem to car sales generally and to those buying them because the number of vehicles that have been clocked in the UK alone has increased by around 10%. When you go to see a vehicle with the aim of buying it, consider whether it may have been clocked. One main indicator is when the car has incredibly low mileage for the year of vehicle and if you compare the mileage to the actual condition of the vehicle, do they match?
Sadly, it is not a crime to change the mileage on a vehicle but it is illegal for someone to try to sell you a car without declaring that the mileage is incorrect, but of course, those who are looking to make some extra money on their vehicles are hardly likely to announce it. If you think that it only affects private sales, think again, even car dealers get caught out and if you do buy a car from a dealership and subsequently find out that it has been clocked, you have every right to report it to Trading Standards. You will be entitled to a refund but there are serious consequences for the dealer as they may face prosecution.
You may be curious as to how you can tell if any potential vehicle has been clocked and it’s difficult, but there can be tell tale signs such as the numbers not being aligned on the odometer or fingerprints inside but do be aware that it is very easy for digital odometers to be changed without it being removed. Equally, a new steering wheel or pedals can indicate that they have been recently replaced and you might wonder if the others showed too much signs of wear and tear. These signs might be enough to make you re-think your decision to buy.
It is a minefield when buying a used car so take all precautions before parting with any cash.
“Image courtesy of [Salvatore Vuono] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”.