Consumers need to protect themselves from the risk of buying a clocked car, warns UK vehicle history expert HPI.
Latest figures from HPI reveal an increase of more than 10 percent over the past five years in the number of used cars it checks recording a mileage discrepancy. According to figures from HPI's National Mileage Register (NMR), over 1 million cars it checked in 2011 had an inconsistent mileage reading, leaving buyers vulnerable to paying over the odds for a vehicle.
Here are a few tips for spotting a clocked car:*
- Check the service history — Check the mileages displayed in the service history and look for invoices and service stamps from a genuine dealer
- Speak to the previous keeper — Contact the previous keeper to confirm the mileage of the vehicle when they sold it.
- Trust your judgment — Look for any evidence that indicates clocking; anything out of keeping with the general condition of the vehicle.
- Check the mileage — Clockers sometimes wind back the mileage for the first viewing and then return it to its original value once you buy. Check the mileage is the same when you pick up the vehicle.
- Look for signs of wear and tear — Does the wear and tear on areas such as seats and the steering wheel match its mileage? Look out for brand new easily replaceable parts, which don't match the vehicle's displayed mileage.
*Many of these signs could be innocent, so look for more than one of the above as possible evidence of clocking.
Also read: Six tips for buying a new car