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NFDA disappointed by mileage fraud consultation response

NFDA 14/09/2017

“NFDA is disappointed to see that Government continues to ignore the serious issue of mileage fraud. This fraud is costing the UK nearly 1.5 billion every year and, with over 500,000 cars estimated to have a false mileage history, is putting thousands of motorists at risks”, said Sue Robinson, Director of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), commenting on the response to the mileage fraud consultation published today, September 14, 2017.

Altering a vehicle’s odometer to show a lower mileage than that actually travelled is not itself illegal. However, the practice of selling a ‘clocked’ vehicle to someone, without notifying them that the vehicle’s mileage has been altered is illegal. Historically, this has been to increase the value of a vehicle, but many consumers are now adjusting their cars’ mileages to avoid excess mileage penalty fees that are part of a car’s finance agreement.

Today (14 September 2017), Government published its response to the consultation on Introducing roadworthiness testing for fast tractors used for haulage and other technical changes to vehicle testing legislation, which included a specific question on mileage fraud. This was published nearly a year ago and ran from 22 September 2016 to 2 November 2016.

NFDA has continuously been calling on Government to tackle the issue of mileage fraud, relaunching a targeted campaign in September 2015.

Robinson continued, “It is frustrating to see that although ‘many respondents recommended possible actions to address the issue of clocking more effectively’, as acknowledged by Government, Government continues to ignore industry calls for action and will only ‘will consider further what measures, if any, are needed.’

“Recent figures show that mileage fraud is on the rise. This comes as no surprise as, with current technologies, modern odometers can be altered very easily and without detection. The significant increase of ‘clocked’ cars over recent years reflect this. Cars and vans are serviced based on their mileage and with lower mileage readings they can remain unserviced for longer periods of time with serious safety implications. This can have grave implications on road user safety. Something which the NFDA and many respondents noted within their consultation responses.

“Over the past few years, NFDA, alongside other organisations, has campaigned, actively engaged with Government, and gained support from a number of MPs and Lords. We consider today’s response to the consultation, which was published nearly a year ago to be extremely limited.

“We will be questioning why Government chose to amend legislation following recommendations surrounding roadworthiness testing, but not following more industry calls to outlaw all mileage adjustment and follow in the footsteps of the Republic of Ireland and the USA.”

“We will continue to campaign and call on Government to change the law to outlaw all forms of mileage adjustment, including mileage adjustment companies and mileage adjustment equipment.

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Key facts about mileage fraud:

Mileage fraud is costing the UK around £1.5 billion annually[i].

It is estimated that one in every 16 used cars on UK roads shows a discrepant mileage and one in three vehicles has a hidden history, this has grown significantly from one every 20 cars in 2014[ii].

Around 513,000 UK vehicles had a false mileage in 2016.

Between 2014 and 2016 the number of used cars “clocked” each year rose 25 percent

£2000-£4000 of value is typically added fraudulently to an average family car through illegal mileage adjustment

[i] This figure is calculated using OFT methodology from the 2010 ‘The second-hand car market report’, updated 2016 figures. Figures include: car sales, percentage of used vehicles with fraudulently adjusted mileage and vehicle prices.

[ii] HPI – Figures as of 5 September 2017.

About the RMI

The Retail Motor Industry represents the interests of operators in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man providing sales and services to motorists and businesses. The RMI has a formal association with the independent Scottish Motor Trade Association which represents the retail motor industry in Scotland.