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Clocking the mileage of vehicles remains a common practice in the second-hand market, with potential buyers losing out if the car they are looking to buy has been clocked. Odometer fraud doesn’t only mean high maintenance costs – it also significantly lowers the value of a vehicle.
A study from the European Parliamentary Research Service found that mileage fraud-related losses are an estimated €8.77billion (£7.79billion) every year.
According to car history company, carVertical, 15.6 percent of all vehicles in Europe have a clocked mileage.
A new study from them analysed 1.11 million history reports between the last 12 months across most of Europe and the USA.
It revealed that the luxurious Audi A8 sedan is the most clocked car, with 30.6 percent of vehicles having a falsified mileage, meaning almost every third used Audi flagship can be with a mileage fraud.
In fact, six out of 10 most clocked cars were expensive German vehicles, such as the Audi A7, BMW X5, BMW 7-series, and the Volkswagen Touareg.
Their high cost and, therefore, high potential for profit, turn these vehicles into a perfect target for odometer scammers on the second-hand market.
Among the models from other makers on the most-clocked list, we also see the Ford Mustang in second place (25.7 percent clocked), and the Ford Fusion at 10th (22 percent).
Outside of the top 10, the Volvo XC70 placed in 14th place (21.4 percent clocked) and the Opel Insignia in 19th (19.5 percent).
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Traditionally, used vehicles with petrol and diesel engines had the biggest share in the second-hand car market, meaning they are at the centre of mileage scams.
However, the growing demand for less polluting cars is rapidly changing the landscape.
Electric vehicles are generally seen as being far more technologically advanced than petrol and diesel counterparts, as well as environmentally friendly.
Unfortunately, electric cars can still be clocked, as they use the same digital odometers as any other vehicle.
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In fact, digital odometers are much easier to tamper with compared to mechanical ones found in older vehicles.
According to the study, the engine type is not a good indicator for determining whether a vehicle is likely to be clocked.
Although for some models, like the BMW 7 Series, petrol and diesel are still more likely to be clocked than hybrids, for other cars this doesn’t seem to be the case.
For example, on the Volkswagen Jetta, the hybrid powertrain has a more significant share of cars with a clocked mileage (27 percent) than diesel (24 percent) or petrol version (22 percent).
The growing number of electrified cars with falsified mileage suggests that buyers should be more cautious.
While the overall share of clocked electric vehicles (13.4 percent) is lower than Europe’s average (15.6 percent), the difference is negligible.
Additionally, buying an electrified car with a falsified mileage could lead to massive repair bills.
Clocked electric cars pose the highest risk, because degraded battery packs mean expensive repairs.
The most clocked cars of 2022
- Audi A8
- Ford Mustang
- Volkswagen Touareg
- Audi A7
- BMW 7 Series
- Volkswagen Transporter
- BMW X6
- BMW X5
- Audi A6
- Ford Fusion
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