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Motorists warned over 'clocking'


Wednesday December 8th 2010

Motorists looking to buy a second hand vehicle are being warned to check its background before purchasing.

Car history checking company HPI said research has found more than 600,000 cars on the road in the UK have had their odometer readings altered - a practice known as 'clocking'.

And research by the BBC has found some 100,000 vans and motorbikes have also been clocked in order to boost their value.

These figures may make buyers think about taking out car value protection insurance when purchasing a vehicle.

HPI is urging buyers to carry out checks into the history of a vehicle before buying it and is also calling for stricter enforcement by authorities to protect consumers.

HPI's own figures show that 8% of vehicles have discrepancies between their indicated and recorded mileage histories. The practice of clocking costs UK car buyers £580 million a year, according to the Office of Fair Trading.

"Unscrupulous sellers see the clocking of a vehicle as an easy way to raise its price and make some extra cash by putting thousands of pounds onto the price tag," said Nicola Johnson, Consumer Services Manager for HPI.

"These latest figures just confirm that clocking is one of the greatest threats facing used car buyers today. Unfortunately modern digital odometers make it even easier for clocked vehicles to evade detection, as the traditional tell-tale signs of damage to screws or poorly aligned number is not visible."

Copyright © Press Association 2010

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