Derby City Council’s Trading Standards team provided a number of ‘clocked cars’ as part of a training exercise hosted by Derbyshire Fire and Rescue service earlier this week.

Car clocking is an illegal practice where digital odometers are altered in second hand cars to reduce their overall mileage and increase their value.

The cars were seized by the Trading Standards team and scheduled for destruction. However, in order to raise awareness of car clocking, they were then donated to Derbyshire Fire Service as part of an ongoing partnership to support them in their training exercises.

This involved a reconstructed multiple vehicle collision in which casualties were trapped in their cars. Firefighters had to remove the roof of the vehicle and glass from the windows to avoid risk of further injury to the victim.

The exercise was also supported by East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS). Trainee paramedics took part in the exercise as part of their initial 10 week training course, giving the trainees an opportunity to work alongside firefighters in a safe but realistic scenario.

Police officers from the Road Policing Unit in Saudi Arabia attended the event to gain insight into the UK’s approach to road policing and crash scene investigations.

Cabinet Member for Public Protection and Neighbourhoods, Councillor Afzal, commented:

This exercise shows the importance of teamwork and partnership working. We are happy to have donated the clocked cars which otherwise would have been destroyed. Our Trading Standards team work tirelessly to ensure cars are legally traded and are safe for road use in Derby.

It’s also important that buyers remain vigilant and look out for any warning signs when purchasing second hand cars. We look forward to delivering similar events with Derbyshire Fire Service in the future.”

Daniel Maycock, Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service chats about the training exercise.

Derby City Council’s Trading Standards team has produced some top tips for consumers who are looking to buy a used car:

  1. Do your research on the seller: Shop around, look for customer reviews of your dealership online and ask friends and family;
  2. Ask questions: Ask the dealer about the condition of the car, repairs carried out on the car, and the relevant documentation for the car such as MOT certificates, service history and the V5C registration document (logbook);
  3. Check the car over: Take a mechanic with you to view and inspect the car before purchase, and always take the car for a test drive;
  4. Be aware of sales patter: Ensure any verbal claims made by the salesman are put in writing.

For guidance on the checks you can make before buying a used car and your consumer rights, visit the Citizens Advice website or call 0345 404 0506.

To check details of a car, please use the DVLA’s vehicle online information checker.