Dealers warned over clocked cars

Used-car dealers are being urged to be wary of clocked vehicles after a new study revealed the problem is more widespread than previously thought.

According to data from vehicle history check experts HPI, an estimated one in 17 cars in the UK is clocked - a much higher proportion than the one in 39 reported by the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA).

HPI said VOSA's figures are lower because they do not take into account MOTs completed before 2005 or on vehicles less than three years old.

The group urged dealers and motorists to get expert help to avoid being taken in by cars that have miles taken off their clock fraudulently.

Daniel Burgess, automotive director for HPI, said: "Unwittingly part exchanging a clocked car is a very real risk for retailers. With the tools to adjust mileages so easily available on the web consumers are just as likely to be clocking the cars as unscrupulous traders, doubling the danger to dealers.

"Not surprisingly the Office of Fair Trading has clearly stated that mileage disclaimers are not enough and to meet due diligence you must prove you have done everything in your power to validate a car's mileage."

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