|It's car tainting by numbers - car clocking investigated|
Inside Out exposes an illegal car clocking scam that costs motorists
thousands and could put lives in danger.
We discovered a Plymouth electrician
using his skills to help unscrupulous car sellers raise the value of their used
The intriguing slogan, "You know what we do!" in a trade
magazine caught our eye.
We had a good idea but called Mark Freeman of DASH
Services to make sure.
We told him we wanted to sell a car and someone
had suggested we phone him, though we didnt know why.
He was quick
to offer us "mileage correction" fixing any "problems"
we had with our odometer.
Miles slashed by half
Audi A4 had no problems at all, apart from the 116,000 miles on the clock.
|How many drivers are at risk?|
ready for the scrapyard, it was unlikely to sell for more than £400
until Mr Freeman stepped in.
We met at a Plymouth garage and Mr Freeman
asked what mileage we wanted the digital odometer to display.
the dashboard, he used a small handheld computer to quickly wipe almost 80,000
miles off the clock before pocketing £150 for a job well done.
Audi was now worth a tidy £1,500.
Analogue odometers are even easier
Clockers can just use a standard drill to turn back the numbers
on the counter.
are dozens of crooks offering clocking services around the country, with the service
typically described as "mileage correction".
They can get away
with offering such a service because when an odometer has broken and is fitted
with a second-hand replacement, the devices can be legally altered.
it is extremely rare for this to happen.
Usually the second-hand odometer
keeps its original mileage and the car log book is stamped so buyers are aware
it is not the one that came with the car, and can check any discrepancy.
clocking, however, is commonplace, affecting an estimated one in 10 used cars
and costing buyers an estimated £100 million a year.
|Check for that give-away shiny steering wheel|
man John Gregory says much more than their hard-earned cash is at stake.
says, "Its worn components and safety items which could affect somebodys
"Ultimately, nobody should pay for their life. If I had my way,
I would just lock them up and throw away the key."
When we confronted
Mr Freeman, he reversed his car towards our crew, grabbed presenter Sam Smith,
tried to stop us filming and refused to answer our questions, before disappearing
into his business premises.
If you are buying a used car and are unsure
about the mileage, here are the signs which indicate a well-travelled vehicle:
A shiny steering wheel/gear lever.
* Worn pedal rubbers/drivers seat/carpet.
Lots of chips on the bonnet.
You can also get the car examined
by a vehicle history-checking company.
With some basic information about
the car they can tell you whether it has been clocked, stolen, written-off, or
has outstanding finance.
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