Clocking cars continues to be a serious issue in the the motoring world.

The UK remains a major victim, and wit the second-hand market so buoyant in the current cost of living crisis, it provides even more incentives to the criminals.

What’s more, new research shows UK drivers overpay the highest amounts because of this.

Top takers

Data released by the vehicle history checking service carVertical shows that UK car buyers are paying an average of 29% extra because of fraudulently clocked cars. This is the joint highest increase in Europe.

Car clocking involves altering a car’s displayed mileage to mask how many miles the vehicle has really been driven for.

With the average price of used cars in the UK being around £17,500, drivers are at risk of overspending by over £5,000.

Sharing the cost

Italy is the only other European country where odometer fraud adds to the price of a car so substantially. Here, clocking is also adding around 29% to the cost of used cars that have been tampered with.

Lithuania is next on the list, followed by Serbia and the Czech Republic.

Clocking adds the least additional cost to cars in Ukraine — though drivers still overpay by 17% on average.


European car clocking 

Impact of Odometer Fraud on Car Values_UK (1).png

There are a host of issues that come with clocked vehicles. Not only are people being led to paying significantly more for a used car than its market value, but you are buying a vehicle that has has a much harder life. This is likely to mean much higher and ongoing maintenance and servicing costs. Clocked cars that have been driven more miles than it appears, will have sustained more wear and tear, often dramatically.

No branded bargains

Audis have the biggest average price hike as a result of clocking. The fraud adds around 32% to the cost of the German manufacturer’s second-hand vehicles. With Audis at the higher-end of the used car market, drivers could overspend by many thousands of pounds.



Price increase caused by clocking









Land Rover




Source: carVertical

Know your history

Matas Buzelis, car expert at carVertical, says UK drivers buying second-hand cars are facing significant risk of fraud. Not only that but it is also raising prices and then adding ongoing costs to the ownership. This leaves them “not just hugely out of pocket, but with a vehicle that has been driven for many more miles than they thought”.

“This means the car will have much more wear and tear than it appears, leaving drivers at risk of paying for unexpected mechanical problems later.

“Drivers who inadvertently buy a clocked car could also end up out of pocket when they try to sell it later, as the vehicle will not be worth as much as they thought.

“Carrying out a history check can reveal any tampering with the mileage, along with other potential problems such as damage and any outstanding finance.”