Used car buyers concerned about clocking

Increasing numbers of used car buyers are concerned that the vehicle they are buying may have had its mileage altered, according to a new report.

Research by CAP HPI among dealers found that while more than half (52 per cent) said their customers knew about the illegal practice of clocking a vehicle, there were varying levels of concern about it. Around one in five customers are now asking for proof of a car’s mileage before they are willing to complete the purchase. However, only around one in 10 dealers actually check mileages on cars before putting them in the showroom, which could potentially cost them a sale.

In a competitive sales environment, meeting the demands of customers is now paramount. In addition, you should ensure you have the right levels of road risks insurance to cover a decent test drive for customers, as well as your motor trade insurance to cover any potential problems with the sale.

CAP HPI spoke to 208 used car dealers as part of its research into clocking concerns. While around 28 per cent of customers do not consider the issue of clocking when buying, an increasing number do. The organisation said there has been a 34 per cent increase in checks carried out with the National Mileage Register (NMR) in the last five years but car dealers are still not clear how effective these types of checks can be in helping them to score a sale.

CAP HPI deputy managing director, Neil Hodson, told Car Dealer magazine: “Not only should dealers make conducting mileage investigations an integral part of their business process, to protect their reputation and their customers, they need to actively promote the fact to their customers that these checks have been done. Our survey confirms that consumers are seeking peace of mind against clocking, yet dealers are choosing to overlook this.”