Clocking’ a van is not a new practice – used van fraudsters have been ‘adjusting vehicle mileages’ for many years in order to make a fatter profit from the sale. To give a view on what sort of impact this kind of activity can have on you as a used van buyer, vehicle information expert HPI has joined forces with CAP, the premier provider of vehicle values, to reveal just how much money dodgy sellers can potentially con out of used van buyers by dropping the mileage on a van.
HPI is spearheading a campaign to hit back against ‘legal clockers’ who operate mileage correction firms, and is calling on consumers to sign a DirectGov e-Petition to force a change in the law and ban these firms. The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) estimates there are over 70 mileage correction firms operating in Britain by exploiting a legal loophole.
Nicola Johnson, Consumer Services Manager for HPI explains, “Used van buyers still do not realise how much money they stand to lose if they spend their hard-earned cash on a clocked vehicle. So with help from CAP, we’re lifting the lid on the true cost of clocking.
“The CAP figures show that the most popular vehicles stand to make the most for clockers. For example, the Ford Transit 300, 2006 model, can get an unscrupulous seller up to £2,375 more on the sales price by reducing the mileage from 90,000 to 30,000. This could set buyers back £8,575 for a van that’s actually worth just £6,200 – a 38% increase.
“The Renault Kangoo could increase by £1,450, bumping the cost up from £3,700 to £5,150 for an innocent buyer – an increase of nearly 40% on its true value. At a time when budgets are tight, used van buyers can’t afford to take the risk of buying a clocked vehicle.”
Derren Martin, Senior Editor of CAP Black Book Live, the leading trade valuations guide, says, “CAP’s valuation data conclusively shows the potential cost to dealers and motorists of the clocking problem. With the value of a typical van varying by anything in the region of 18% upwards when 30,000 miles are wiped off the clock, you can certainly see the motive for the clockers. Dealers are hurt just as much by this practice as the motorist and that is why provenance services are so important in protecting both trade and consumer alike.”
Nicola Johnson concludes, “It’s almost impossible to tell a clocked vehicle just by looking at it, making a vehicle history check a vital form of protection for buyers. A clocked van could be hiding serious levels of wear and tear posing a safety threat, not to mention the additional cost of unexpected repairs. A mileage and vehicle history check, can help protect consumers from buying a van with something to hide, saving them cash and keeping them safe.”
The HPI Van Check includes a mileage check against the National Mileage Register as standard, now with over 160 million mileage readings. HPI also confirms whether a vehicle is stolen, has outstanding finance against it or has been written-off, making it the best way for consumers to protect themselves from fraudsters looking to make a fast profit. In addition, the HPI Check offers a Guarantee of up to £40,000** in the event of the information it provides being inaccurate, offering added financial peace of mind to used van buyers.