Skip navigation
Skip navigation
You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser.
Odometer Being Tampered

HPI partners with the RAC to warn motorists of the wear and tear dangers of buying a ‘clocked’ car

“Clocking” – otherwise known as illegitimately adjusting a vehicle’s mileage - has been practiced by dodgy used car sellers for many years as a means to make extra money. However vehicle information expert, HPI, is warning that the risks from buying a clocked car could hurt consumers in more places than just their wallet.

Nicola Johnson, Consumer Services Manager for HPI explains, “Clocking is used by fraudsters to boost the sale price of a vehicle, but the act of clocking also hides the fact that the car is likely to have done considerably more miles than the driver realises. If vital components are excessively worn and/or not replaced as recommended by the manufacturer, that vehicle could be a real danger to the driver and other road users.”

HPI’s concerns are echoed by vehicle inspection experts at the RAC. “Vehicles displaying untrue mileages carry an increased risk of costly defects being present. With use comes wear, and therefore higher mileages are a likely indication of when maintenance costs could start to rise,” comments Michael Hill, Vehicle Inspections Manager for the RAC.

Despite some obvious tell-tale signs of general wear and tear, a higher mileage vehicle may look in reasonable condition; however, behind the bodywork there may be some less obvious wear that isn’t reflected by the reported mileage. An incorrectly reported mileage could also lead a new owner into believing that their scheduled maintenance is up-to-date, missing out on vital service work such as a timing belt change that may lead to catastrophic engine failure.”

An RAC Inspection offers used car buyers a thorough vehicle examination that will help highlight unexplained gaps or leaps in maintenance records, a potential sign of clocking or a hidden history. And whilst a vehicle examination cannot authenticate recorded vehicle mileages, the RAC Inspection does provide used car buyers with an independent condition report on vehicle performance, offering added peace of mind and protection against the threat of clocking. Prices start from £135 and details can be found at

This latest warning comes as the RAC backs HPI’s campaign to hit back against legitimate ‘clockers’ in the form of Mileage Correction firms with the launch of its DirectGov e-Petition. The OFT estimates there are over 70 mileage correction firms operating in Britain by exploiting a legal loophole. HPI calls upon motorists to sign its e-Petition to force a change in the law and ban these firms.

David Bizley, RAC’s Technical Director says, “This is an important campaign which will help raise awareness of this shady practice which can cost unsuspecting motorists thousands of pounds. We urge drivers to sign the e-Petition and to be on their guard when looking to purchase a second hand car. It’s always wise to get an independent vehicle inspection done and conduct a vehicle history check for added peace of mind.”

“I’m more than happy to join HPI’s campaign and sign their e-petition calling on the government to clamp down on mileage correction firms,” confirms John Leech, MP. “I find it astonishing that tampering with a car in this way is not actually illegal. The practice is said to cause Greater Manchester motorists to be swindled out of an estimated £22m per year, and nationally car clocking costs consumers up to £580m a year according to the Office of Fair Trading. I have long argued that this should be made illegal having previously raised this with Government Ministers and called on the Transport Select Committee to hold an enquiry into this immoral practice.”

Johnson concludes, “The dangers associated with a vehicle that has done considerably more miles than the owner realises are all too clear. And even if these issues are identified in time to prevent danger, the cost of servicing the car to bring it up to a maintainable standard could run into the thousands. However, a mileage and vehicle history check, as well as a full vehicle inspection can help protect consumers from buying a vehicle that’s hiding its true age behind a low mileage and a bargain price tag.”

To sign-up to the HPI e-Petition which calls upon Government to put a stop to
Mileage Correction Firms simply visit
It will only take a few moments and will require people to confidentially validate their details to authenticate their support

April 2013

For further information visit or call 0845 300 8905
Follow us on Twitter @

Notes to Editors:

Dominic Dennis, Madeleine Roles or Justine Hoadley
Tel: 0208 977 9132

About HPI:

Originally established in 1938, HPI Limited is a primary source of vehicle information for the UK motor industry and motoring consumer which, since December 2008, has been owned by Solera Holdings, Inc. Solera Holdings, Inc. is an integrated group of leading automotive claims solutions companies. Founded in January 2005 by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Tony Aquila, Solera has expanded its geographic reach and now serves more than 55,000 business customers in over 50 countries across six continents.

HPI encompasses both the HPI database of all UK road registered vehicle descriptions and histories, and the National Mileage Register (NMR) which holds in excess of 150 million mileage readings.

Together, HPI and NMR represent the UK's largest vehicle information source, combining and interpreting data from government agencies, industry bodies, private organisations, the police and the general public. Registering with HPI helps companies to protect their financial interests in motor vehicles and a wide range of other mobile assets. HPI Checks give purchasers instant confirmation of whether vehicles are correctly described, known to be subject to outstanding finance or serious accident damage, or recorded as stolen or "clocked".

'HPI' and the HPI logo are registered trademarks of HPI Limited.
(1) All prices include VAT and are correct as of 4th January 2013
(2) Mileage Data is not covered by The HPI Guarantee
*(3) The HPI Guarantee is subject to terms and conditions

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Harrison Sadler in the following categories: Motoring, Personal Finance, for more information visit