Quick Tips: Spotting A Clocked Car
When buying a car, you really need to make sure that you’re getting exactly what you pay for – and nothing more
(e.g. unexpected nasty surprises) or less (a car actually worth far less in real terms due to being clocked for example).
Following HPI’s recent announcement that one in 17 cars have been clocked in the UK, here are motorists’ tips and advice on how to avoid being scammed.
This high figure is a warning sign to customers buying second hand cars. Illegal clocking is a quick and easy way for unscrupulous car sellers to make money and those buying second hand cars need to be very wary. Not only is buying a tampered car a waste of money, a clocked vehicle is dangerous to the driver and other road users, as cars with incorrect mileages have often missed important services and part replacement dates, making them unreliable and potentially un-roadworthy. If motorists are in any doubt as to whether or not a vehicle may have been clocked, they should always seek expert advice before making a purchase.
A recent investigation by the BBC put the spotlight back on car clocking, revealing that winding back the odometer on a high mileage car, is one of today’s most common car crimes.
When purchasing a second hand car, drivers should look out for the following warning signs and plan ahead by doing some basic maintenance checks on the vehicle in question, to avoid being cheated by rogue traders:
Common sense should be exercised at all times – worn pedal rubbers, lots of chips on the bonnet, a shiny steering wheel and excessive wear and tear in the car’s interior, all indicate a well-travelled vehicle.
Original copies of the logbook, the car’s service history, MOT details, registration number, vehicle identification number and a valid tax disc, should all completely up to date and accounted for upon inspection of the vehicle. If any of these documents are missing or invalid, walk away from the deal.
Motorists should input the car’s registration number into official mileage-check websites such as the HPI or AutoCheck from Experian. For a small cost, drivers can be safe in the knowledge that they are buying a vehicle that hasn’t been tampered with.
Always remember, if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is!