British Law change considered to combat mileage fraud

October 10, 2016

The UK's Department for Transport has launched a consultation into toughening up legislation on ‘clocking’ amid claims that criminals have reduced the odometer reading of millions of vehicles. The consultation, which runs until the start of November, has been welcomed by leasing companies which are concerned about the increasing scale of the problem. Knowingly selling a clocked vehicle without disclosing the fact is a criminal offence. However, correction devices are widely available online and some companies openly offer correction services. According to estimates, there are now nearly two million vehicles on UK roads with false mileages. Two main factors are driving growth in clocking. Firstly, criminals are using the devices to falsely increase a vehicle’s value. For example, Autovista Intelligence data shows the average price of a Ford Focus diesel at three years/90,000km in the UK during H1 2016 was £7,934 (€8,807). Winding the clock back 30,000km would increase the price by £748 (€830) to £8,682 (€9,637). Secondly, amid growing demand for personal leasing and personal contract purchase products that include mileage limits, some customers are avoiding excess mileage charges when they return the vehicle by winding the mileage back. Transport minister John Hayes, who launched the consultation, said: 'We are aware of some recent concerns that the manipulation itself is not illegal, only the subsequent sale of the vehicle. We are keen to understand respondents’ views on this matter. Responses to this consultation will help inform our final proposals before we make changes to legislation.'

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