Ireland South MEP and member of the EU Transport Committee Deirdre Clune has warned those buying second hand cars from the North and the rest of the UK that up to 1 in 5 of them have had their mileage tampered with. Her warning comes on the back of figures that show a marked increase in the amount of people crossing the border to buy second hand cars, a circa 37% increase on 2016 figures.
Clune has reiterated her calls on the EU Commission to stamp our cross border car clocking by introducing an EU wide mileage database. The MEP first raised the issue directly with the Transport Commissioner in 2015 but slow progress has been made to date.
Car clocking or Odometer fraud refers to the illegal interference with the mileage clock on a car to make it look like it has done less mileage than it actually has. The practice, which was made illegal in Ireland in 2014, is a particular problem when it comes to second hand cars coming from the North and the rest of the UK. AA road watch and Cartell.ie surveyed 120 cars in an investigation which showed that 1 in 10 cars had been clocked. Those figures rise to 1 in 5 when it comes to cars imported from the UK.
Clune says mileage fraud is something that the commission needs to tackle head on,
“New Technology has made car clocking easier as now all the aspiring fraudster needs to do is plug in a laptop. My colleague in the EP, MEP Tomáš Zdechovský says that the estimates go as high as 30% of all used cars are clocked in the EU, costing European consumers approximately between €5.6 to 9.6 billion per year.
Clune has criticised the Commission for not implementing her proposal for an EU wide database of car mileage so that people can compare and contrast mileage readings across the EU. Speaking from Brussels Clune said the Commission has made some moves in the right direction, but nowhere near enough.
“The Commission has implemented Directive 2014/45/EU, a "road worthiness directive", which creates a minimum harmonised list of car checks for NTC tests and other such tests. This now includes a check on mileage. This directive will apply as of 20 May 2018. Member States need to transpose it as of 20 May 2017. While this lays the groundworks for an EU wide database, it does little for those who are buying cars this week where the mileage may have been tampered with.
Clune called on the Commission to expedite their actions in the area, implement the directive above and set out a timeframe for the introduction of an EU car mileage database.