A lot has been written of late about visiting Northern Ireland to snap up a bargain, with cars featuring heavily on that ‘across the border’ shopping list.

Well, that UK-sourced jalopy may not be all it’s cracked up to be – which is certain to prove a source of relief for Waterford dealers already suffering due to the economic downturn.

According to car-history trackers Cartell.ie, almost one in eight cars imported from our neighbouring jurisdiction have had their mileage illegally clocked back.

“Car buyers needed to be more vigilant,” said Cartell.ie’s Jeff Aherne. “Some car dealers have been engaged in unscrupulous behaviour by knowingly importing these illegally modified vehicles.”

It is understood that in several instances, entire clock units are being replaced in UK-registered cars before being sold on to unsuspecting Irish punters. A Waterford dealer says such tampering is one of several reasons why anyone considering a new set of wheels should ‘keep it local’.

“There are lots of hidden dangers buying a car like this and clocking back is the one that grabs the most headlines,” he told The Munster Express this week.

“On top of that, you don’t have the warranty guarantee that you have in the Republic and there’s the potential re-sale value of the car should you consider changing it a few years from now.”

He added: “Without a proper warranty and a full service history of the car, you’ll find it near to impossible to find a garage that’ll want to do business with you when it comes to a trade-in.

“You might think you’re saving money now, but that’ll count for nothing compared to the headaches you’re more than likely going to have down the line.”

See The Munster Express newspaper for a more detailed report.