“Clocking” is a Thing, Look Out!

The year 2020 is now upon us and while technology has exponentially revolutionized the way the world functions, there are still some practices that have been going on since time immemorial. One of these practices is “clocking”, the practice of lowering the mileage on a car’s odometer by sellers in order to make the car seem less used.

This practice is very common and many buyers are often misled into buying a car that is way more used than they would have preferred. Obviously, this affects the car’s parts and consequently, the price of the car itself. Lower mileage means a higher price for the same model.

Clocking was very common in the 90’s but it has returned and it is most likely done on certain vehicles. Cap HPI has a list of vehicles that have most likely been clocked!

If you have one of these types of cars, you should be very careful about checking the mileage – twice, thrice or as many times as you want until you are reassured.

Luxury cars – Of course, high mileage on a luxury car makes it less desirable. Hence, before purchasing one, make sure you double check.

Coupes– Same as for luxury cars, it is imperative to keep coupes as less used as possible to get a good selling price. You need to be careful regarding mileage when purchasing these beauties!

Compact family cars- Small cars used for families also have a huge probability of being clocked so if you are out on the used market looking for a best buy in a family car, make sure you are careful.

Minibuses– If you are looking for a small delivery or transport vehicle for your business, ensure that you properly assess the mileage before making the purchase.

Station wagons – Station wagons are also highly prone to clocking so if you are going for one or something similar that can be classified as a cargo vehicle, do beware!

Besides the car types, there are also certain ways to tell if the vehicle’s mileage has been wound back:

  • The steering wheel seems to be in better condition than the vehicle’s pedal
  • The car’s front portion is chipped in places, which looks like chips caused by stones
  • Wear and tear in other parts of the vehicle such as seats, floormats, locks, etc

You should check the car’s month of transfer certificate when purchasing because it will state the car’s mileage when purchased. You can also ask for a service history or opt for an online mileage check from the National Mileage Register. That’s because sometimes if an owner has children or is just not neat and careful him/herself, other parts of the car may be more worn than expected. However, it does not necessarily mean that the car has been clocked.

If you are careful about all of these signs, take precautionary measures, and know the basics about buying a used car, you are good to go!


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