Up to half a million second-hand cars bought last year were clocked, an investigation by The Times has found.
The Times reported that consumers are unaware of the dangers and are being misled into buying vehicles that no longer show the correct mileage.
In one case, a Mercedes-Benz had been advertised for sale with a “HPI-checked” logo, even though its mileage had been wiped of more than 100,000 miles.
The rise is thought to be linked to new car finance deals and the low cost of so-called correction devices, which can be used to adjust the mileage of a vehicle and are available from as little as £80.
New car finance deals where consumers only pay for the depreciation of the vehicle over the contract term feature mileage limits and can result in hefty penalties if the agreed mileage is exceeded.
In 2010, it was estimated by the Office of Fair Trading that clocking was costing the public £580 million annually, according to The Times, which added that that figure was now likely to be more than £1 billion.