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Buyers warned over clocked cars

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Car history checking company HPI has urged used car buyers to conduct vehicle history checks, after it was found that over 600,000 cars on Britain's roads have been 'clocked' to increase their value when offered for sale.

With BBC figures showing that a further 100,000 vans and motorcycles have had their odometer readings tampered with to show lower mileages, HPI has called for stricter enforcement of regulations to protect used vehicle buyers.

According to HPI, 8% of vehicles show a mileage discrepancy.

The Office of Fair Trading has revealed that false mileage is costing consumers £580 million a year.

Nicola Johnson, Consumer Services Manager for HPI, said: "Unscrupulous sellers see the clocking of a vehicle as an easy way to raise its price and make some extra cash by putting thousands of pounds onto the price tag.

"These latest figures just confirm that clocking is one of the greatest threats facing used car buyers today. Unfortunately modern digital odometers make it even easier for clocked vehicles to evade detection, as the traditional tell-tale signs of damage to screws or poorly aligned number is not visible."

© Press Association 2010