A report published this week by the Office of Fair Trading in the UK indicates that Car Clocking – the practice of deliberately interfering with a vehicle’s odometer so that a lower mileage is displayed – “remains a persistent and damaging consumer crime”.
The study was launched in May 2009 following a record number of consumer complaints regarding the second hand car market. Covering the whole of the UK the study focussed on sales by registered dealers rather than private sales, but the OFT hopes that its findings will provide clarity across the wider second-hand car market.
The OFT estimate the potential loss to UK consumers from the purchase of vehicles with false mileage to be up to £580 million a year. That’s against a national fleet of 32million cars. Applying the same ratio to the Irish fleet means the cost here could be up to €40 million.
One significant area the report focussed on was ‘Car Clocking’. Describing the practice as a “persistent and damaging consumer crime” the OFT identified over 50 businesesses in the UK openly offering “mileage correction services” despite the very small number of occasions where there may be a legitimate reason to correct a car’s odometer reading.
The report states “We have a strong suspicion that many of these companies adjust mileages for illegitimate reasons” and goes on to call for the introduction of legislation to outlaw mileage correction/alteration services and their advertising.
The OFT strongly recommends that mileage readings be shared with vehicle check companies. It calls for the sharing of mileage data recorded at the point of an MOT Test and recommends mandatory mileage readings be supplied by vehicle owners to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) each time a vehicle’s particulars are amended.
Car Clocking continues to be a serious problem in Ireland and it appears that UK vehicles are responsible for more than their fair share. A quick look at our March statistics shows that 39% of cars where a mileage discrepancy exists are currently, or have previously, been registered in the UK.
Motorcheck’s national mileage register has in excess of 1.4 million odometer readings we believe there are a number of ways the detection rate could be substantially increased.
If you’d like to assist Motorcheck with our battle against the car clockers, you can do so by entering the odometer reading for your car by clicking on this link or the button below. It’s free and could help prevent someone from clocking your car in future.
For further advice on how to avoid buying a clocked car you can visit a previous post here.
This morning we were invited into the Ireland AM studios at TV3 to chat with Mark Cagney about some of the more common problems we come across daily. Car clocking, insurance write off’s, outstanding finance and a variety of other important pieces of information we report on for Irish car buyers were all featured.READ MORE »
TextCheck.ie is a new SMS based service from MotorCheck.ie – the Car History People. Text VALUE followed by the Reg to 51155 to receive an instant valuation and a free identity check. A great new service that gives buyers and sellers alike the ability to Benchmark the price of any car (or van) in Ireland.READ MORE »
One piece of news that we couldn’t ignore this week was the new FREE ‘Topaz App’ that was launched. It’s something we’ve been looking forward to seeing in the app store for a while now. Motorcheck provides the data the app uses for its mileage check facility and is a great example of how our automotive data can be used in innovative ways by our business customers.READ MORE »