ONE of the UK’s leading used car websites Trusted Dealers is calling for greater awareness around the financial and safety implications of odometer fraud, following a meeting with the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport.
The business, which is part-owned by the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), met with Andrew Jones MP to discuss the growth of the business and issues around the motor trade, including odometer fraud, which he recognised as an area of immediate concern.
Odometer fraud, sometimes referred to as ‘clocking’, is the practice of altering a vehicle’s odometer to show a lower mileage than that actually travelled, thereby increasing the re-sale value of the vehicle.
While knowingly selling a clocked car is fraud, it is not illegal to alter the mileage and it is estimated that up to 486,000 cars on the road could be clocked, a figure which prompted the NFDA to launch a campaign last September to outlaw mileage correction companies by 2018.
With the wealth of finance offers available on new cars, the motor industry has seen unprecedented levels of new car buying, yet customers are often tied into limits on mileage, leading people to look towards clocking to avoid large fines when trading their car in at the end of their contract.
Following an investigation in March by The Sun newspaper, Business Minister Anna Soubry pledged a law change to close the loophole, a move that Trusted Dealers managing director, Neil Addley, welcomed:
‘Clocking is a growing issue in the UK and it was refreshing to meet Andrew Jones MP, who acknowledged the importance of addressing this issue for the safety of motorists. Odometer fraud not only has severe financial repercussions for unsuspecting buyers, but there is also a significant safety issue when driving a clocked car as drivers are unaware of when to get their car serviced and undertake important safety checks.
‘With so many issues surrounding clocked cars, we are keen to see the Government act to ensure that consumers are protected from buying a potentially dangerous vehicle and look forward to seeing stricter laws tackling the dozens of firms offering this service across the UK.’
He added: ‘Buying from a Trusted Dealer means customers can be safe in the knowledge that all used cars are checked to ensure no odometer fraud has taken place, as well as a number of safety checks to ensure there is no outstanding finance or safety checks on the vehicle.’
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