Month: October 2012

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HPI launches e-petition to close mileage correction firms

HPI is urging dealers and consumers to sign an e-petition to force the government to outlaw 50 firms offering mileage corrections.

The vehicle information specialist has launched an e-petition on the government’s DirectGov website and hopes to attract 100,000 signatories.

“Across the UK, these companies are turning back the miles on used cars, helping certain sellers push up the price of vehicles,” said Daniel Burgess, HPI’s managing director.

“One in 20 cars checked with HPI show a discrepant mileage, and this figure has risen by 10% in the last 5 years. Dealers need to tackle the threat of clocking head on, as they risk unwittingly part exchanging clocked vehicles and selling them on to customers, putting their business and their reputation at risk.”

Burgess said firms operating mileage corrections were benefitting from a legal loophole which needs to be closed.

“Dealers are well aware that clocking itself isn’t illegal, but selling a clocked car without declaring its true mileage is. Whilst there is rarely a legitimate reason to alter the mileage on a vehicle, Trading Standards estimates there are 50 mileage correction firms operating in Britain. Some of these companies will be exploiting a legal loophole that could help unscrupulous sellers make a fast profit at the expense of dealers and consumers alike. We’re calling for a change to the law and dealers should be too. Our e-petition will give motorists and the motor industry a chance for their voice to be heard.”

The petition has attracted over 100 signatories.

Click – – for the e-petition.

So Who Do Used Car Buyers Trust?….

The latest research from leading vehicle auction company British Car Auctions has revealed that 'family and friends' have the biggest influence on used car buyers, ahead of their own personal experience, independent expert advice and even a vehicle test drive. For the first time, 'views of family and friends' have topped the table of influences on used car buyers which Tim Naylor, Editor of the BCA Used Car Market Report thinks might simply be a 'sign of the times'.

"As economic conditions have got tougher over the last couple of years, it could well be that people think it's safer to trust the views of their family and friends before anyone else", said Tim Naylor. "Of course, the reality is that a family member or friend may not have any expert experience when it comes to selecting a used car – but it just feels a safer route to take when money is already under pressure."

Of the 4,000 car owners surveyed by BMRB for the BCA Used Car Market Report*, 24% said views of family and friends most strongly influence the type of used car they consider buying. This increased to 28% for women car buyers. But 21% of male used car buyers cited 'personal experience of a particular make and model' ahead of views of family and friends at 20%.

Across the regions, used car buyers in London, the North West, West Midlands, Wales, South West and Scotland put their trust in the opinions of friends and family the most. Whilst personal experience of a particular make or model is the first choice for motorists from the North, Yorkshire & Humberside, East Midlands and East Anglia. And used car buyers in East Anglia rank personal experience way above all other influences at 55%.

"With a quarter of motorists saying that they are most likely to buy their next used car privately, what influences their decision could be crucial" continued Tim Naylor. "It is, therefore, at least encouraging to see that they do also take influence from some more expert views. These include independent car internet sites at 16%; test drives at 15%; used car showrooms/sites at 12% and franchised and used car dealer websites at 10%.

"However, car TV adverts were only considered influential for 6% of used car buyers and just 4% said they were influenced by car TV shows."

For a full copy of the Report, interviews or further information please contact Louise Fowler, Maddy Roles or Wendy Harrison at HSL on 020 8977 9132. [email protected] or BCA Public Relations Department, Blackbushe Airport, Blackwater, Camberley, Surrey GU17 9LG. Tel:01252 878555 Fax:01252 743447 [email protected]

Appointment of Marketing Director signals acceleration in CAP’s growth ambitions

Appointment of Marketing Director signals acceleration in CAP’s growth ambitions

LEADING vehicle valuations, technical data and business services provider CAP has appointed Matt Thompson as Marketing Director to help spearhead its drive for accelerated growth.

Thompson is the latest in a series of key appointments signalling CAP’s growth ambitions, since the business was acquired in May by one of Europe’s top flight investment specialists, Montagu Private Equity.

With 25 years’ experience in the automotive sector, Matt Thompson joins CAP from Trader Media Group, publisher of Auto Trader. There, as Group Marketing Director, he led TMG’s marketing strategy to transform the Auto Trader digital operation into a market-leading digital beacon brand.

Prior to his 13 years at TMG, Thompson held a series of senior marketing positions with leading automotive specialists, including ERF Ltd, National Tyres & Autocare, Perkins Engines and Lucas Automotive.

“Matt Thompson is a rare beast in our industry, in that he combines an industry-wide wealth of knowledge with a fantastic track record on growth and the kind of strategic vision that CAP needs to realise its own accelerated growth ambitions,” said CAP CEO Ian Rendle.

“Real expertise at every level of our business is the cornerstone of CAP’s success. We are delighted that Matt is as excited by our growth vision as we are and will bring all his experience, knowledge and skills to bear on carrying those plans to fruition.”

Matt Thompson said: “CAP is a brand I have known all my working life. There has never been a more exciting time to get on board with an energetic, enthusiastic management team determined to deliver on the quality, innovation, expertise and customer trust that will bring us transformational growth.”

Montagu is committed to supporting the CAP management team by investing across all functions of the business, from delivering innovative technologies through to industry-leading levels of customer service.
This commitment has already resulted in workforce expansion in excess of 30% since May, including key appointments focused on quality and innovation as well as sales and marketing. Further investment in people, facilities and systems for the business is on-going.

Black Book Live opens the window on real-time market trends

REAL-TIME trade pricing tool Black Book Live is revealing the ‘fine tuning’ of price trends in the trade more clearly than any monthly trade guide, as recent market performances show.
Black Book Live – CAP’s ground-breaking departure from traditional monthly trade price guides – publishes price changes as soon as they are identified. Data from recent months shows the development of trends in Black Book Live that a monthly price change inevitably fails to reflect – until it may be too late for trade professionals to respond appropriately.

In one example a 3-year-old Ford Focus 1.4 Style, with 50,000 miles, steadily rose in value from mid-July to mid-September with just one brief dip during late August.
In another example a Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0 TDi R Line was revalued 4 times by Black Book Live editors over the space of just 5 weeks, starting at £14,150 on July 16 and reaching £14,750 on August 23.

CAP’s Mike Hind said: “We introduced Black Book Live to give customers a clearer view of market turns as they happen because a monthly guide is instantly behind the curve when prices change.

“We have long and frustrating experience of struggling to accurately reflect a fast-changing market – such as the trade price crash of 2008 and the historic upturn that followed. The bottom line is, you can’t serve customers properly in a moving market if you can’t move with it.

“We deadline our monthly Black Book around the 23rd which makes it the most up to date book of its kind.
But even then, if prices turn immediately after that it’s another 5 weeks before our customers see more up to date trade prices. At that point the market may still be moving so those prices are also instantly out of date.

“Black Book Live takes us out of that vicious circle so that customers see price changes as they happen – meaning they can react appropriately, armed with the latest information.

“CAP subscribers who have moved over to Black Book Live tell us it typically justifies the investment within the space of one month.”


For further information contact Mike Hind, Communications Manager, CAP, on 0113 222 2044 / 07710 152030
Follow MikeH_CAP on Twitter
Find Mike Hind on Linked In
Used car pricing and technical information from CAP has been trusted by motor trade professionals for more than 30 years. The company provides trusted and accurate pricing and technical information on cars, vans, motorcycles and trucks to the UK automotive industry every day. Founded in 1979 and based in Leeds (UK), CAP’s data and information systems serve clients across a broad variety of automotive-related sectors. CAP’s current used car values are used as the benchmark for residual values performance across the disposals industry and CAP Monitor is the leading residual values forecasting tool for the Contract Hire, Leasing, Daily Rental, Finance and Insurance industries. CAP’s new vehicle data system serves a broad variety of e-commerce, DMS, showrooms and asset management systems throughout the Retail, Contract Hire, Leasing, Finance and e-commerce sectors. CAP information also operates at the heart of many leading vehicle marketing websites and car sales portals, including Britain’s largest – AutoTrader – helping consumers safely make the best informed decisions about their purchase choices.
CAP, Capitol House, Bond Court, Leeds LS1 5EZ
Telephone: 0113 222 2000 Facsimile: 0113 222 2001

The new MOT Certificate makes it easier to spot clocked cars.

Clocking is the process of rolling back vehicles' mileages to increase their values. On older cars – with mechanical odometers – this can be done by winding back old-style mechanisms. However, crooks use software to fiddle with newer digital displays. As such, from November 18th 2012, VT20s must not only record the relevant vehicle's current mileage but those from the previous three tests. This makes it easier for buyers to check for consistency and sidestep problems.
Clocking is common because it is profitable. As such, a Jaguar XJR 4.2 V8 Supercharged – on a 2008/08 registration – that has covered 80,000 miles and is in excellent condition retails for £15,500. However, roll back its mileage to 40,000 and a crook could sell for £19,000 – a £3,500 increase. This applies to everyday cars too. A Ford Mondeo 2.5T Titanium X Sport – for example – retails for £6,100 assuming a 2008/57 registration and a mileage of 80,000. But roll this back to 40,000 and it could sell for a further £1,500, at £7,600.

Irrespective of the new certificate, the only way to be sure a car's mileage is correct is to buy new. That said, second-hand shoppers can minimise the risk. Step one is to cross reference MOT mileages with the service history/invoices. Information can be corroborated further by contacting the garages that have seen the car. If there is no paper trail… be suspicious. Step two is to find comparisons. For example, a Mondeo that has covered 50,000 miles should look and feel better than one with 150,000. Drive a few examples, then, and familiarise yourself with the range's characteristics. And, of course, buy from a reputable source and order a history check from a company such as HPI. Then cross your fingers.

By Stephen Turvil,