Clocked Cars, The Car Buyer’s Worst Nightmare

Despite the rise of online shopping and research, there’s a terrible scourge plaguing the car buying marketplace: clocked cars. This is where the mileage reading of the vehicle up for grabs is modified so that thousands of pounds are added to the sale price. It’s a great deal for the seller, but an obviously terrible time for the buyer. OSV LTD, a premier leasing provider, pulled back the curtain on some shocking statistics. They stated that 62% of car buyers are concerned about purchasing one of those badly modified vehicles, but only 13% of that buying group actually understands the dangers of car clocking. Over three-quarters of the buyers surveyed stated that they don’t know how to check for a clocked car.


Debbie Kirkley is the co-founder of OSV and had her own remarks to share. She mentioned that according to prevailing research, there’s one clocked car in every group of twenty cars up for sale. Those are not the type of odds that we look forward to, and she cautions buyers to be careful when they make their purchases.

The company at large is cautioning anyone purchasing a secondhand vehicle to do as much research as possible. But other than inflated prices, there’s a reason why car clocking is truly a buyer’s nightmare: servicing agreements. You see, if there’s a warranty attached to the vehicle, a clocked car will hit those milestones faster than one that isn’t. This means even more money spent on repairs that would have otherwise been covered by the agreement. On top of that, there are times where mileage dictates what parts are taken care of at the garage and which ones come at a later time.

You can protect yourself and stay safe on the road by following a few tips. Make sure that you try to get as much contact information as you can, so you can follow up with any servicing garage listed. Also, check in with the previous owner and see if they have their records. Usually they will record mileage sooner or later. Finally, you can do the HPI check, which will reveal the mileage as well. If you are the potential victim of car clocking, don’t let the seller get away clean. Report these fraudulent transactions immediately.