A loophole that allows cars' mileages to be altered is set to be closed

The government has pledged to stop car clocking following an exposé that revealed that up to 100 firms are offering services to digitally alter cars' odometers.

It is currently illegal to sell a clocked car without declaring its genuine mileage, but the actual act of altering the car’s odometer is not an offence.

Following The Sun's investigation, the loophole is set to be removed, with business minister Anna Soubry saying: "We [the government] will stop it."

The European Parliament earlier this year announced plans to ban companies that offer mileage-altering services from May 2018, but it is not clear whether any changes to the UK's law will come into affect before that date.

"The government will look into this matter,” a spokesman said.

“Clocking with the intent to sell is a criminal offence and any suspected breaches should be passed on to Trading Standards to investigate."

Altering the digital reading can put other things controlled by the ECU out of sync, such as safety warnings.

There could be as many as 1.7 million used cars on UK roads with fraudulent mileage readings, according to vehicle history checking company HPI.

The firm backs the government’s pledge to clamp down on car clocking and has released some estimates of how mileage reduction impacts used car prices.

HPI says a three-door Ford Fiesta 1.25 Zetec from 2012 is worth £4795 with an odometer reading of 90,000, but its value rises by £1655 to £6450 with 30,000 miles on the clock.

Our Verdict

Ford Fiesta
Fiestas sold in Europe are ostensibly the same as those sold in America and Asia

The seventh-generation Ford Fiesta is the UK's best selling car, helped by frugal engines, handling verve and a big car feel

Join the debate

Comments
1

31 March 2016
A friend of mine bought a car last year with 30,000 miles showing on the clock. However when he got it back from its first MOT with him, he was a bit shocked to find that the mileage had been 80,000 at the previous check! Turned out the ECU had been replaced in the meantime as the original had failed and a used part from a much newer car was fitted and not reset.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Kia Stonic
    First Drive
    18 October 2017
    Handsome entrant into the bulging small crossover market has a strong engine and agile handling, but isn’t as comfortable or complete as rivals
  • Hyundai Kona
    First Drive
    18 October 2017
    Hyundai's funky-looking Kona crossover with a peppy three-cylinder engine makes all the right noises for the car to be a success in a crowded segment
  • Citroën C3 Aircross
    First Drive
    17 October 2017
    The Citroen C3 Aircross has got funky looks and a charming interior, but it's another small SUV, and another dynamic miss. Numb steering is just one thing keeping it from class best
  • Skoda-Karoq 2.0 TDI 4x4
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Diesel version of Skoda’s junior SUV is unobtrusive and undemanding, but we’d still go for the silkier petrol version of the Karoq
  • Audi Q7 e-tron
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Expensive and flawed but this understated diesel-electric Audi Q7 has a lot to offer