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HPI launches e-petition to end clocking
Clocking is still alive and well – and it’s time to shut it down, reckons vehicle information firm HPI.
It’s thus launched an e-petition to DirectGov, which it hopes will garner 100,000 signatures and force a parliamentary debate on shutting down the so-called ‘mileage correction’ firms.
HPI says 1 in 20 used cars shows a discrepant mileage – and that figure has risen by 10% over the last five years alone. Current Trading Standards estimates put the number of known companies offering mileage correction services in the UK at 50.
And if you’ve ever wondered why the nether regions of some car magazine’s classified sections contain ads for these outfits willing to fiddle the odometers of pretty much anything on two or four wheels – it’s because the practice of altering a vehicle’s mileage isn’t in itself illegal. It’s selling a clocked car without declaring the true mileage that will put you on the wrong side of the law.
That means these firms can still operate – and sadly the shadier parts of the motor trade are quite happy to use their services to inflate the prices of used cars by hundreds or thousands of pounds.
Giving a car a ‘haircut’ – slang for clocking the mileage back – still dupes thousands of innocent buyers into unwittingly shelling out their hard-earned on an ostensibly low-mileage vehicle, which may have been to the moon and back.
Phil Peace, HPI Commercial Operations Director, said: “A lower mileage can add hundreds or even thousands of pounds to the perceived value of a vehicle, so buyers have a lot to lose. Not only could they pay more than the vehicle is worth, but the car may need servicing and repairs sooner than the tampered mileage suggests.
“Our e-petition will give motorists and the motor industry a chance for their voice to be heard.”
The irony is that high mileage is not necessarily anything to be afraid of on a well-maintained used car – but due to the effect on a car’s value, the less honest members of the motor trade are still fiddling with car’s histories to make a fast buck.
They’re also good at hiding it – but as HPI points out, you can watch out for some tell-tale signs – such as checking the service history tallies with the displayed mileage and the service stamps and repair invoices look genuine. And contact the previous keeper using the V5 logbook details, to check the mileage when they sold the car.
A full HPI check is also a wise idea – with more than 150 million mileages recorded on the national mileage register, a few quid spent on checking a car’s past before handing over your wedge could prevent a very expensive mistake.
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