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Industry concern as ‘clocking’ rises among nearly new vehicles

The BVRLA is to begin an investigation into mileage fraud, following warnings from the National Franchise Dealer Association (NFDA) that it’s a fast-growing problem among vehicles under three years old.

Car odometer

One in 16 cars in the UK has an incorrect mileage figure according to the NFDA.

Speaking at a VRA seminar in Leicester, Louise Wallis of the NFDA said there had been a 25% increase in used vehicles with ‘adjusted mileage’ between 2014-16, adding that this was expected to have grown again in 2017.

According to NFDA data, one in 16 cars in the UK (some two million vehicles) has an incorrect mileage figure, and half a million used cars last year were affected. The association’s key concern is that it’s becoming a major issue with vehicles under three years old, to avoid excess mileage costs at the end of a lease or PCP contract, among both fleet and retail users.

Mileage adjustment isn’t illegal in the UK, but it is against the law for vehicles to be sold without acknowledging that this has taken place. It’s a relatively cheap and easy service to find online, which means cars could have gone through the procedure several times before they reach three years old, Wallis warned, to avoid discrepancies in a service history.

With a £1.5bn estimated cost to the motor industry per year, the NFDA is calling for cross-industry co-operation to get it outlawed.

The BVRLA doesn’t yet have data about how this affects its members, but is beginning an investigation to find out. A spokesperson told Fleet World: “The association will be conducting a survey to establish whether mileage fraud is a particular problem for members, and if so, what impact is it having on their business. Findings from the survey will inform whether guidance is required.”

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Alex Grant

Trained on Cardiff University’s renowned Postgraduate Diploma in Motor Magazine Journalism, Alex is an award-winning motoring journalist with ten years’ experience across B2B and consumer titles. A life-long car enthusiast with a fascination for new technology and future drivetrains, he joined Fleet World in April 2011, contributing across the magazine and website portfolio and editing the EV Fleet World Website.