Some disreputable car sellers will attempt to get a better deal on a below average vehicle. They may attempt to do this by ‘clocking’ the car. This is when its mileage reading is reduced so that it looks like it has been used far less than it really has. Falling for it means customers could be paying far more than they should.

It is estimated that over 600,000 of the cars currently being used in the United Kingdom have been clocked. New learner drivers who have just passed their test are the ones who are most likely to be stung by it because they will be searching for the cheapest vehicles and seeking the best deals. Therefore, young people who have just received their pink licence need to be aware of how to spot clocking and ensure they are not paying more than they should.

Search for telltale signs of extreme use

The mileage may appear to be low, but you may be able to notice signs of the car being very well used. Keep an eye out for wear and tear on vehicle parts such as seats, wheels, gears and more that may indicate it has been driven far longer than its mileage might suggest. If the mileage is apparently below 10,000 miles – the UK average – and shows these signs of useage then the car may have been ‘clocked’. Obviously a new car will avoid this problem so Leasing a car is one sure fire way to avoid being scammed by clockers.

Do a HPI check on the car

The HPI Limited’s National Mileage Register is a large UK database that contains a list of over 140 million vehicle mileages. It has been set up specifically for the purpose of preventing clocking from happening. Conduct a check on their database to see if they have a record of your potential vehicle’s mileage compared to what it says on the dashboard. It will flag up any discrepancies in just a matter of time.

Look into the car’s (and its driver’s) history

It is possible to get in touch with the previous driver of the vehicle. They will be in a good position to tell you whether the mileage on the dashboard is accurate or it has been ‘clocked’. You will be able to find their contact details in the V5/logbook. Similarly, you can also look into the service history of the car and speak to the people who worked on it at the time. They may have a record of the mileage at the time.