October 16th 2017
1 in 5 second hand cars imported from the UK are clocked
37% increase in the number of second hand cars imported from the UK and Northern Ireland since 2016 and at least 1 in 5 of them have had their mileage tampered with
This week I was warning 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. My 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.
I have reiterated my calls on the EU Commission to stamp out cross border car clocking by introducing an EU wide mileage database. I 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.
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.
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 May 20th 2018. 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.
I am calling 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.