Fleet News

Making mileage checks work

Vehicle information expert HPI is urging dealers to protect their reputation against the threat of clocking by doing everything they can to avoid the very real risk of unwittingly part exchanging a clocked car. Ron Brooks Toyota, in Mansfield makes sure staff always conduct mileage checks and investigations to protect their business and meet Office of Fair Trading (OFT) guidelines.

OFT guidelines clearly state that mileage disclaimers are not enough to meet due diligence, and asks dealers to prove they have done everything in their power to validate a car’s mileage. In adding a National Mileage Register (NMR) check to a standard HPI Check, dealers can instantly see if the vehicle has an indicated mileage discrepancy. In addition, by raising an NMR Investigation, dealers can meet the OFT guidelines.

“A sound mileage investigation strategy which includes contacting previous keepers to verify mileages is not only best practice, but can provide a sound legal defence for dealers and their business, offering more than just protection from clocking,” says Daniel Burgess, managing director of HPI. “As clocking continues to pose a threat to motor retailers and consumers alike, decision makers within dealerships need to understand the essential role that HPI’s National Mileage Register plays. With more than 130 million mileage records it is a vital tool to protect both dealerships and their customers.”

Ron Brooks Toyota, in Mansfield believes that the importance of mileage investigations should never be underestimated and uses mileage checks as a vital part of its day-to-day business.

Andrew Hoult, Group Sales Manager, explains, “We fully recognise the risks of unwittingly part exchanging clocked cars and selling them on to our customers. We tackle the issue head on and treat it as a very real concern for the business, which reduces the risks for us.

“All our customers sign a mileage disclaimer as standard when they part exchange a car with us and we conduct a mileage check using HPI’s National Mileage Register. We never rely on a mileage disclaimer alone; it must go hand-in-hand with an independent mileage check. We also ask for the Log Book and Service History. This offers us the vital information we need to pass on to HPI if an investigation is needed, for example when the vehicle has had more than one keeper or if a discrepancy has been shown.

“HPI’s investigations team exhausts all avenues to validate the vehicle’s mileage, giving us absolute confidence in the quality and status of our stock. This is imperative for those part exchanges that are going on to our forecourts, to ensure we are meeting due diligence in line with OFT guidelines. What’s more, our team fully recognises that the mileage check certificate is an extremely important sales tool, offering our customers proof that the mileage is legitimate.”

Daniel Burgess of HPI concludes, “Clocking continues to be a growing threat to dealers and their customers and HPI continues to help both trade and consumers protect themselves from the risks. However, retailers need to focus on mileage investigations as an effective safeguard against clockers, as well as a valuable sales tool. The HPI Check includes a mileage check as standard, helping dealers operate best practice, allowing them to sell with confidence and produce paperwork to reassure customers that their vehicles have legitimate mileages.”

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