On Wednesday morning I met with representatives of the Retail Motor Industry to discuss my ongoing work on clamping down on car clocking, which is the practice of reducing the mileage on a vehicle’s odometer to make it appear as if the car has done fewer miles that it actually has. Car clocking is particularly useful for an unscrupulous second hand seller who can use one to take off a car’s mileage, and thereby add thousands of pounds to its value.
What I find astonishing is that tampering with a car in this way is not actually illegal. It only becomes an offence when a car owner knowingly sells a vehicle with a false mileage without declaring it. This has failed to adequately discourage the practice though, which is said to cause Greater Manchester motorists to be swindled out of an estimated £22m per year, and nationally car clocking costs consumers up to £580m a year according to the Office of Fair Trading.
I am working hard with the Retail Motor Industry to put pressure on the Government to change the law to make it a criminal offence to carry out car clocking in the first place, unless done for a legitimate reason. I am also considering proposals that would require motorists to provide details of their vehicle’s mileage on its MOT certificate, which should help provide purchasers with an easy way to confirm the mileage of a car and not risk being deceived.