This is where high mileage cars have their odometers wound back in order to raise the asking price. Every 1,000 miles wound back increases the value significantly. This is of course, illegal.
You would think that now, with modern cars having digital odometers this wouldn’t be a problem anymore, but to the contrary. Digital odometers can be tampered with using specialised software and a laptop. This unfortunately leaves no visible evidence of interference.
More conventional clues of clocking can be found when viewing older cars:-
– Examine for worn screws on the dashboard; any previous tampering with the instruments may be visible.
– An indication of lots of journeys on the motorway could be chips made by stones across the front of the bonnet, grille and bumper.
– More suspicions if the odometer shows a low mileage would be worn pedal rubbers or a shiny, worn steering wheel.
– Similarly, an older vehicle that has virtually new pedals/gear stick and/or upholstery may also indicate that something is being hidden.
Most car salesmen in Stoke and further afield agree that the average car travels around 10,000 miles per year. Check that the mileage on the clock roughly ties in with the age and appearance of the car.
Checking the mileages on the service records and MOT certificates could also be worth the effort. This can be corroborated by contacting the garages that performed the work and asking them to confirm the mileage they recorded at the time of the service/MOT.
Another useful suggestion is to contact the previous keeper on the logbook and ask them if they still have details of the mileage of the vehicle when they sold and even bought it.
After all these checks, just walk away if you still have any doubts. There will plenty of other car sales in Stoke and other areas to view.
Car cloning / vehicle identity theft:-
This is where one car is given the identity of another by replacing the number plates with those from an almost identical vehicle – same make, model and colour.
This masks the true identity of a stolen vehicle. People even take a much more basic approach and do this to avoid congestion charges, speeding fines and parking tickets etc. The ticket of course would then be sent to the keeper of the vehicle from which the identity was stolen.
As well as physically stealing number plates, unscrupulous suppliers are also known to provide them. In this case, where a car is being cloned, the thieves don’t ever even have to touch the vehicle.
Whether its your current car, or one you have recently purchased and you find your number plates are stolen report it to the police/authorities straight away. This should also be the case if you start receiving parking tickets/fines for places you’ve not been to.
Be particularly wary, if you’re buying a car, of anything without a V5C registration document (though these should not be considered absolute proof of who ‘owns’ the vehicle as these can be forged). Also as previously mentioned its worth repeating the benefit of checking the cars service history (garage bills etc.) consistent with the vehicle’s age. All documentation should be checked carefully. The idea is that all the pieces of paperwork match the vehicle and tell a consistent story. Professional inspections of a car, among the many sales in Stoke and throughout the UK, should be considered for total peace of mind.
If you do find out that you have ‘bought’ a cloned vehicle then unfortunately you will lose both the money you paid for it and the actual car itself.
‘Cut and shut’
This is where the remains of accident damaged cars, written of by insurers, are welded together. One of the wrecks then ‘lives on’ assuming the illegal identity of this piece of work.
In many cases, even the car sales centres in Stoke etc themselves may not be aware of a ‘cut and shut’ vehicle from the outside as the cosmetic work is usually outstanding and difficult to spot.
While being very prudent and detailed in your car inspection, you will usually come away from the transaction positively, but for absolute confidence we would recommend investing in an AA Car Data Check. This will of course unearth the cars history, and could potentially save you from serious heartache.