Imported cars more likely to be clocked

Imported cars more likely to be clocked

Oct 10, 2017

Imported cars more likely to be clocked

Those buying second hand cars, and especially those importing one from the UK, need to be extra-vigilant, as research by the car history experts at has shown that one in ten Irish cars, and one in five imported cars, has been clocked.

The study, carried out by and the AA, surveyed the mileage of 60,000 used cars on the database and a supplementary study of 64,000 cars that all showed at least two entries on the National Mileage Register. In both cases, just over 11 per cent showed a mileage discrepancy.

Of those cars, a random sample of 13,000 imported cars, almost all from the UK, was checked, and these were found to have a significantly higher chance of mileage discrepancy - 18 per cent, or almost one in five.

Back in 2013, a check by the Irish government showed that nine per cent of used cars had had their mileages illegally altered, so the rate has gone up considerably in four years.

John Byrne, Legal and Public Relations Manager,, said: "We wanted to get a clear picture of the extent of "clocking" in Ireland both with respect to domestic vehicles and imports. Based on an overall study of more than 120,000 vehicles these results are very concerning: on the Irish side we are painting a picture worse than the Government did when they conducted their own research in 2013 when they returned a rate of 9.8 per cent. More worrying still is the situation with respect to imports - at 18.43 per cent this rate is alarming. We would encourage anyone who is importing a vehicle to conduct a vehicle history check before buying and take your time with respect to the purchase of any new vehicle."

Commenting on the report's findings Conor Faughnan, Director of Consumer Affairs at AA Irelandstated: "Clocking is a very serious issue and something that anyone looking at purchasing a second hand car, whether in Ireland or from the UK, needs to watch out for. For example, our AA Rescue team regularly encounter car breakdowns which can be directly connected back to mileage discrepancies in the car. If a car has been clocked it's highly likely that the car also has a questionable service history so, for example, a motorist could think their car isn't due a service for another few months but then suddenly find their timing belt has snapped."

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