Car mileage: Expert advises how to spot a clocked vehicle
One of the most popular cars in the country – the Vauxhall Astra – is also most at risk of falling victim to odometer fraud.
Around 14.5 percent of second-hand Astras offered for sale were found to have a falsified mileage, with sellers looking to increase their profits.
The popular Vauxhall model was the fifth most-bought used car in the UK in the first three months of the year, with thousands of drivers potentially buying a clocked vehicle.
The data, from carVertical, found that luxury Audis and Mercedes also dominate the list of the most clocked models between January and May.
Both old and new vehicles can fall victim to this fraud, often known as clocking, with criminals manually altering the number of miles on the vehicle.
Oftentimes, digital odometers are easier to tamper with compared to mechanical ones found in slightly older vehicles.
According to carVertical, a staggering 15.6 percent of all vehicles in Europe have a clocked mileage.
Matas Buzelis, car expert at carVertical, commented: “Clocking remains a perennial issue in the UK, with some vehicles more prone to having their mileage falsified than others.
“Expensive, luxury models are a particular target as scammers can make big profits on high-value cars which appear to be lower mileage than they really are.
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“So when you’re shopping for a second-hand car, it’s essential that you get an accurate mileage figure, and are aware of any other issues that might impact its true value.”
When a vehicle is clocked, it can also be difficult for prospective buyers to work out how old the vehicle is, furthering the issues they may have when buying the vehicle.
The AA reported that every 1,000 miles removed from the odometer can increase the value of a car “substantially”.
By removing miles from the odometer, people can sell the vehicles for a higher asking price, especially if it is already an expensive vehicle.
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Car dealers who reduce the mileage on a vehicle for financial gain can be prosecuted under the Consumer Regulation Act.
However, carVertical highlights how the practice is already widespread enough meaning that drivers looking to buy a used car risk becoming a victim of mileage fraud.
It has been suggested that falsely lowering a used vehicle’s mileage can inflate its sale price by as much as 25 percent – meaning drivers could overpay by thousands of pounds.
The top 10 most clocked cars of 2023 so far
Land Rover Range
Land Rover Discovery
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