The Local Government Association is calling for tougher laws to help used car buyers and a ban on companies offering mileage ‘correction’ services as latest statistics show that the number of clocked vehicles has increased by 10% between March and October last year.
RAC head of vehicle inspections Mike Hill said: “It is very difficult to assess the scale of the clocking problem but it certainly appears to be on the increase and the RAC has been working with local trading standards to tackle the issue.
“One reason for the growth could be the number of private cars now bought under PCPs (Personal Contract Purchase) which may tempt some motorists to use a clocking service or even purchase the equipment to do it themselves to avoid a fine for exceeding the specified mileage in their contract. However, it is a practice that is usually employed by unscrupulous car dealers who will use a number of techniques to pass off a high-mileage vehicle as something that it isn’t – increasing the list prices by hundreds if not thousands of pounds.
“Prospective buyers investing thousands of pounds in a used vehicle are always encouraged to do their homework. Thoroughly examine the vehicle’s paperwork and MOT history to check that the mileage matches its service history and look for disproportionate wear on the vehicle to assess whether it is as good as it looks. It is always wise to get an online vehicle history check which for just a few pounds can reassure you that the vehicle has not been stolen, written off or subject to outstanding finance.
“However, identifying a vehicle that has been clocked can be very tricky and some rogue dealers will go to great lengths to disguise a vehicle which has done excessive miles. A comprehensive inspection by an experienced vehicle inspector will give you reassurance about the mechanical condition of the car which could save you a fortune in service and repair bills.
“The RAC would like to see mileage correction devices banned from sale and is calling on the Government to review current legislation to make it illegal to physically wind back the mileage of a vehicle to protect the rights of used car buyers.”