Study:  6 in 100 vehicles have mileage discrepancy – UK image

The latest figures from HPI reveal a dramatic increase in mileage discrepancies flagged in HPI Checks completed between 2005 and 2010, with certain vehicle styles more of a risk than others. Reputation is a dealer’s biggest asset, but the threat of unwittingly part exchanging a clocked car is a very real risk, warns HPI.

HPI’s 2010 figures show that compact executive cars are the most likely to be clocked, with 7.9%* of this type of vehicle checked against HPI’s National Mileage Register (NMR) recording a discrepant mileage.

Luxury cars come in second with 7.7% of all luxury cars being clocked, followed closely by family cars at 7.4%.  However, estate cars have leapt up 3%, from just 3.4% in 2005 to 6.4% in 2010 and it’s a similar story for roadsters and cabriolets.

In contrast super minis and hot hatches are least likely to be clocked at 4.7% and 4.9% in 2010, respectively.

“It’s always been assumed that clockers will target older vehicles, turning back the mileage and pushing up the price,” says Daniel Burgess, Managing Director for HPI.  “And to a certain extent that remains true. However, the majority of the vehicles checked by HPI in 2010 were just three to five years old, over half had less than 50,000 miles on the clock and only a third had mileages over 60,000.”

Dealers also need to remember that the tools to adjust mileages are easily available on the web, making consumers as likely to be clocking cars as unscrupulous traders. Unsurprisingly, the Office of Fair Trading has clearly stated that mileage disclaimers are not enough and to meet due diligence dealers must prove they have done everything in their power to validate a car’s mileage.

“Mileage investigations can offer more than simple protection from part exchanging clocked cars and selling them on to customers,” Burgess continues. “A sound mileage investigation strategy where previous keepers are contacted to verify mileages is not only best practice but can provide a sound legal defence for a dealer’s business.

With over 130 million mileage records, HPI’s National Mileage Register (NMR) plays a vital role in the fight against clocking. Adopted as standard by leading retailers and manufacturers, it holds data going as far back as 1992.   Crucially, it also holds the mileage readings of vehicles less than 3 years of age, collected from sources including manufacturers (as part of their warranty offering), and leasing companies’ disposal declarations.

“With clocking on the increase and all cars of all ages being subjected to mileage tampering, dealers should be protecting both their reputation and bottom line by using our National Mileage Register,” concludes Daniel Burgess.

With access to more vehicle information than any other service provider, HPI also confirms the vehicle description, whether it is currently recorded as stolen, been written-off by an insurance company or is subject to outstanding finance, providing peace of mind to used car buyers at a time when finances are tight.

**Percentage of mileage discrepancy hits by vehicle segment against HPI’s National Mileage Register (NMR) as conducted by motor traders


Vehicle Segment 2005 2010 + %
Estate 3.4% 6.4% 3%
Roadsters & Cabriolets 4.3% 6.6% 2.3%
Compact Executive 5.7% 7.9% 2.2%
4X4 4.8% 6.8% 2%
Coupe 5.9% 7.6% 1.7%
Performance & Hot Hatches 3.3% 4.7% 1.4%
Executive 5.7% 7% 1.3%
Super Mini 3.7% 4.9% 1.2%
Luxury 6.8% 7.7% 0.9%
MPVs 4.8% 5.6% 0.8%
Small Family Cars 5.3% 6% 0.7%
Family 6.8% 7.4% 0.6%