Clocking has some mileage

Mileage discrepancies and ‘clocking’ of used cars is becoming increasingly more common on their forecourts, according to new figures from automotive data experts cap hpi.

In a monthly survey conducted with dealer networks across the UK, a quarter of UK dealers asked expressed concern that clocking and mileage discrepancies had worsened in the past 12 months.

Over a third (36%) of dealers are concerned that the incidence of clocking will have a negative impact on their business, making a dent in profitability.

Earlier this year cap hpi, the UK’s leading authority on vehicle checking services and custodians of original automotive data, established that the number of cars showing mileage discrepancies rose to one in 16, a jump of 25% on 2014’s figures of one in 20 cars displaying a discrepancy.

And with this one in 16 chance of purchasing a vehicle with a mileage discrepancy, the cost to motorists stands at over £800m every year. The practice of clocking takes place when drivers look to deliberately defraud second-hand car buyers when the vehicle is sold on.

The HPI Check includes a mileage check against the National Mileage Register as standard, now with over 200 million mileage readings. cap hpi also confirms whether a vehicle is currently recorded as stolen with the police, has outstanding finance or safety recalls against it or has been written-off, making it the best way for consumers to protect themselves from fraudsters looking to make a fast profit.

Barry Shorto, head of industry relations at cap hpi, said, ‘There’s no doubt that the escalating problems associated with clocking and mileage tampering are now starting to become a cause for concern by dealerships across the UK. The situation demands a tough stance from the industry and the government as not only is it costing honest motorists millions but it is tarnishing the good names of established and reputable car dealers across the UK who are on the receiving end of this deception.

‘There’s also the vital issue of driver safety which unscrupulous clockers have no regard for whatsoever in their quest to make a quick buck. The problem needs to be dealt with swiftly and culprits punished severely. We uniquely have decades of experience and dedicated support teams on hand to provide the data that provides peace of mind for dealers and consumers alike. This position has been more than reinforced with the coming together of the experience and unique data assets of cap and hpi.’

Earlier this year, cap hpi played a vital role in securing custodial sentences for individuals in the North West involved in what is thought to be one of the largest clocking cases in UK legal history.

Added Barry, ‘Our advice to dealers is not only should they make conducting mileage investigations an integral part of their business process to protect their reputation and their customers, but they must actively promote the fact that these checks have been done for customer peace of mind. Proof of a mileage check needs to be a key part of a dealer’s sales strategy, promoting the quality of their stock, as well as highlighting the dangers of clocking for their customers.’