Millions of people in the UK have unknowingly purchased vehicles with adjusted mileage. We delve into this issue, revealing the facts about car clocking and services that offer to make corrections.
Car clocking is an unethical practice in which a car’s odometer is rolled back, deceiving potential buyers into believing the vehicle has travelled less than it actually has. This illegal act was once primarily done by untrustworthy dealers and garages for financial gain; however now there are ‘mileage correction’ companies offering these services openly across the UK. It does not take advanced expertise to clock a car as kits can be easily obtained online or from local shops – with reports suggesting around 2.5 million cars have had their mileage changed already – making them hazardous for unsuspecting used-car shoppers
What’s the law around car clocking and mileage correction?
In the UK, individuals and businesses may legally correct odometer readings on vehicles. But any selling of these cars must declare known discrepancies to buyers for it not to contravene Consumer Regulation Act laws – those found in breach may face prosecution if evidence suggests intention of financial gain from clocking a car’s mileage.
2006’s Fraud Act provides invaluable protection to buyers by preventing tradespersons and private sellers alike from making financial gain through misrepresentation or deception. However, there is doubt as to the legal standing of disclaimers used in mileage correction services that certify customers understand it’s a criminal offence not to inform new owners about changes made before reselling products.
The European Parliament recently took a significant step toward protecting consumer safety by announcing new directives that would ban companies from offering services to wind back the mileage on cars and other vehicles. EU Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc has expressed her support for these measures, ensuring appropriate penalties are put in place for offenders of this directive. Now with Brexit finalized, it is unclear if similar plans have been devised at the UK level or will be implemented soon.
Why is car clocking on the rise?
In a 2019 survey of seven million vehicles conducted by Rapid Car Check, 6.32 per cent had discrepancies in their mileage readings – translating to potentially 2.5 million cars across the 38.9 million driven on British roads having incorrect mileages recorded as of September last year according to extrapolation results from this study’s data set. Notably, 591 thousand instances could be attributable either deliberate tampering or potential inputted errors such as typing mistakes when recording details at MoT tests respectively .
In recent years, car clocking has been on the rise in the UK as technologies for altering digital odometers become more accessible and easier to use. This surge is further compounded by a growing dependence of consumers on car finance options such as PCP and PCH deals – which often come with strict mileage limits that can be remarkably expensive if exceeded. To avoid these costly fines, some owners have resorted to ‘mileage correction’ firms who offer services to reset their vehicles’ odometers.
The increased prevalence of car clocking is related to a rise in digital odometers which make the practise easier for companies and individuals. While some seek mileage correction services, others use these technology advancements with fraudulent intent – namely claiming higher mileage allowances from employers than have actually been driven on private vehicles.
Are there legitimate reasons for mileage correction?
With the strict legislation surrounding mileage correction, legally altering a car’s odometer is extremely rare – unless you take it to an official dealership. When this happens, everything must be documented and logged meticulously to ensure full compliance with regulations; however some companies can carry out these adjustments without properly recording the procedure.