Volkswagen Beetle CabrioletOpen-top convertibles cars are the models most likely to have a mileage discrepancy, reports HPI – which in most cases will mean the car has been ‘clocked’.

Winding back the mileage of a convertible to boost its second-hand value is a particular issue in the summer, adds HPI, because convertible values will rise anyway due to the favourable weather.

Factor in amazing growth of 1,182% in the number of convertibles on British roads over the past 10 years, and the risk is significant, says HPI MD Neil Hodson.

Clocking is “used by fraudsters to boost the sticker price of a vehicle, but the act of clocking also hides the fact that the car is likely to have done considerably more miles than the driver realises.

“If vital components are excessively worn and not replaced as recommended by the manufacturer, that vehicle could be a real danger to the driver and other road users.

“It’s easy to be swept up in the romance of driving along country lanes with the roof down, but used car buyers need to make sure their cash isn’t wasted on a vehicle with something to hide.”

Add in the fact 1 in 5 convertibles will have outstanding finance, plus the fact they’re the third most likely car to be recorded as an insurance write-off, and the HPI message is clear: don’t let the sun go to your head when shopping for a drop-top.