The Department of Transport (DfT) has revealed plans to issue a consultation on whether existing legislation is sufficient with regards to clocking, in a response to a letter from the National Association of Motor Auctions (NAMA).
NAMA had sent the DfT a letter outlining the problems that auctioneers faced if they unintentionally sold a used car that had had its mileage adjusted, a practise commonly known as ‘clocking’.
In its response to NAMA, Danny Herbert, policy officer at the DfT said the Government was considering whether more action was needed to address odometer fraud.
As well saying the issues NAMA mentioned would be included in the considerations, Herbert said: “It is likely that we will be consulting on clocking, as part of wider consultation.”
According to Herbert, while the UK Government is of the opinion that clocking is already an offence under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 and the Fraud Act 2006, it plans to seek views on whether this legislation is sufficient.
He added: “The Government will consider whether further action is required based on the responses to the consultation.
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“We are aware that some sections of the industry are in favour of outlawing the adjustment of the odometer more widely. However, the response to the consultation may provide a fuller picture of industry’s views on this. The Government will consider next steps in response to the consultation.
In response to the DfT letter, Sue Robinson, director of NAMA, said: “We have been lobbying government since September 2015 to tackle the issue of odometer fraud, with the launch of a campaign to raise awareness and encourage the outlawing of mileage adjustment companies in the UK.
“We are pleased to see that the government has positively responded to our letter, we believe further action is essential as odometer fraud has been causing problems not only to auctions, but also to the whole industry.
“We will be monitoring the situation and continue to lobby the government to ensure every effort will be made in order to tackle the issue.”
Commenting on the news, Barry Shorto, head of industry relations at cap hpi said: “Our valuation data conclusively shows the potential cost to dealers and motorists of the clocking problem. With clockers able to add thousands of pounds onto the value of a car, unsuspecting buyers stand to lose out, as do dealers. That’s why we advise retailers and consumers alike to conduct a vehicle history check to spot a mileage discrepancy before they buy.”
Cap hpi has previously noted that used car buyers face a one in 20 chance of purchasing a vehicle with a mileage discrepancy.
This is not the first time clocking has been brought up by the Government in 2016. In March, UK minister for small business Anna Soubry told the press that she intended to close legal loopholes allowing the practise of clocking to occur.