Suppose you’re planning to purchase a used car, congratulations! You’re making a good decision because you’ll save a lot of money. There are so many benefits to buying a used car. No depreciation; you can often find a vehicle loaded with features for half the price of a new vehicle. You might even find a used car still under warranty.
However, with all the benefits of buying a used car, there are also some risks. You can end up with a lemon, or you might get ripped off by an unscrupulous dealer. That’s why it’s quite important to do your research before you buy and be aware of the various scams out there.
One of the most common used car scams is car clocking. Car clocking is when a dealer or private seller changes the odometer reading to make it appear like the car has lower mileage than it does. Unfortunately, the seller can do this easily and cheaply, and it’s often very difficult to detect. This is why it’s important to know the signs of car clocking and how to spot it.
What Is Car Clocking?
Car clocking is the illegal practice of tampering with a car’s odometer to make it appear like the vehicle has lower mileage than it does. This is done to sell the car for more money than it is worth. The practice is widespread, and estimates suggest that as many as one in every ten used cars on the road has been clocked.
Clocking a car is relatively easy and doesn’t require special skills or equipment. All you need is a screwdriver, and you can easily turn the odometer back to zero or any other number. You can also replace the entire odometer with one from another vehicle that has lower mileage.
Why Is Car Clocking Done?
There are a few reasons why sellers might clock a car. The most common is to sell the car for more money than it’s worth. This is especially common with luxury and sports cars, which can retain their value better than other vehicles. In addition, clocking a car can help you avoid paying higher road taxes and insurance premiums. Finally, in some cases, car clocking is done to hide the true mileage of a vehicle used for long-distance driving.
Is Car Clocking Legal?
No, car clocking is not legal. It’s classed as fraud, and if you’re caught, you could face a heavy fine or even jail time. The maximum penalty for car clocking in the UK is 8000 pounds and up to ten years in prison.
If caught driving a clocked car, you could face a heavy fine or even jail time. The maximum penalty for car clocking in the UK is 8000 pounds and up to ten years in prison. And if you’re caught selling a clocked car, you could be liable for any losses the buyer suffers. So, it’s not worth the risk.
How To Avoid Buying A Clocked Car
When purchasing a used vehicle, buyers must be aware of car clocking signs. However, there are several ways you can do to avoid this. Let’s take a look at some of the most common ways:
Check The Mileage Against The Service History
If the car you’re looking at has a full-service history, it’s a good sign. This means that the mileage should be well-documented. You can check the consistency by looking at the old MOT certificates or service records. If there are any discrepancies, it’s a red flag that the car might have been clocked.
Look For Excessive Wear And Tear
Another way to tell if a car has been clocked is to look for excessive wear and tear. This is especially common on the brakes and tyres. If the car has low mileage, but the brakes are worn out, it’s a sign that they’ve been used hard. The same goes for the tyres. If they’re worn out, it’s a good indication that the mileage has been tampered with.
Check For Odd Readings On The Odometer
When looking at the odometer, pay attention to the numbers. They should be evenly spaced and easy to read. If they’re not, it could be a sign that the odometer has been tampered with. In addition, be wary of cars with unusually low mileage.
Test Drive The Car
Another way to tell if a car has been clocked is to take it for a quick test drive. Pay thorough attention to how the car feels when you are behind the wheels and listen for any strange noises. If the car doesn’t feel right or sounds like it’s not running properly, it could indicate that the mileage has been tampered with. But, again, don’t hesitate to have a mechanic check it out before making a decision.
Run A Car Check
Finally, if you’re not sure whether a car has been clocked or not, you can run a car check. It would be better if you always did this anyway when buying a used car. A used car check will give you access to the vehicle’s full history, such as its MOT history, service records, outstanding finances and previous owner information. This can be a valuable way to spot any red flags.
What Happen If I Buy A Clocked Car?
If you buy a clocked car, there’s not much you can do. You might be able to take legal action against the seller, but it’s not guaranteed. In most cases, you’ll have to accept that you’ve been duped and move on. This is why it’s important to be careful when buying a used car. Always do your deep research and be sure to get a car check before making a purchase.
If you think you’ve been the victim of car-clocking, you can report it to Action Fraud. The agency will investigate the matter further and take appropriate action.
Avoiding car clocking is essential if you’re looking to buy a used car. Be sure to follow these tips above to help you spot any red flags. And if you’re ever in doubt, run a car check to be sure. It could save you a lot of your time, money and hassle in the long run.