Tuesday, 27 February 2018
With new figures reporting that the number of clocked cars on UK roads has risen to one in 16 - up from one in 20 three years ago – we’re helping used car buyers protect themselves from fraudsters seeking to turn back the miles.
Although there are very few legitimate reasons for a vehicle to have its mileage altered, there are an estimated 2.3 million cars in the UK that have been clocked, making it something used car buyers need to watch out for. Clocking is used by dodgy sellers to wind back the mileage on a vehicle and crank up its value, but it has other serious ramifications over and above creating a false mileage reading and an inflated price tag. Techniques used by modern clockers are impacting crucial readings in Engine Control Units (ECUs), potentially leading to both safety and legal issues.
Around 10% of all the modules in a modern car, such as the airbag, ABS and ignition, feed information into the central ECU system, and each time an event occurs – such as a faulty airbag warning – a ‘snapshot’ of the vehicle’s mileage will be recorded on these modules. Therefore, unless a vehicle’s mileage is wound back by a particularly ‘diligent’ and skilled clocker who alters the mileage readings on all potentially affected modules, in addition to the odometer, these will be out of sync. This conflict between the cars electronics could interfere with the normal routines for service and repair, ultimately leading to safety issues. What’s more, a manufacturer’s warranty may be invalid if the car is found to be clocked.
There are legal consequences too in the event of an accident, as on board computers store information on a vehicle’s speed, which can be used in evidence. After a vehicle’s been clocked, this data could be compromised, making it inadmissible as evidence.
What can you do to protect yourself? Follow our handy tips to help protect yourself when buying a used car.
OUR TIPS ON SPOTTING CAR CLOCKING