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Con artists are altering car mileage so drivers pay through nose for an old banger

Patrick Christys
Mar 29, 2019


Buying a second hand car always has risks attached to it - we all know someone who bought what they thought was a gleaming motor only to discover it breaks down 20 yards from the showroom.

But now con artists have got more intelligent. They've gone all tech-savvy. They're hacking digital mileage displays.

So when you buy a second hand car and you think it's only done 20,000 miles, it might have actually done closer to 100,000, meaning you pay way too much for what is essentially an old banger. 

People are now accessing online services that adjust digital mileage displays in a bid to avoid financial penalties for going over mileage restrictions agreed as part of finance deals on models, according to vehicle checking service HPI.

The scam is costing motorists over £800million a year because cars are worth less than their mileage suggests - and it's increasingly difficult for those who fall victim to seek compensation.

An astounding one in 14 cars are being 'clocked' - which is an upsurge considering that was one in 16 in 2017 and one in 20 in 2014.

But HPI, which offers a vehicle checking service to flag to buyers if a car has previously been written off, stolen, scrapped or has any outstanding finance or mileage irregularities, said the rise was has been aided by easier access to clocking technology.

When did you last switch your car insurance provider?

Last year 65% of customers didn't switch their car insurance to try and get a better deal.