Last week the European Parliament approved recommendations for tackling odometer fraud almost unanimously, and urged the European Commission to act resolutely against mileage fraud across the EU. I have been heavily involved in the move to stop ‘car clocking’ through my active role on the Transport and Tourism Committee of the European Parliament.
The odometer readings of second-hand cars traded across the EU are manipulated more frequently than those of vehicles traded on national markets. ‘Car Clocking’ is difficult to track and leaves no trace. This incurs costs and creates challenges on the EU internal market. It also has a very significant impact EU road safety.
Second hand car buyers in Ireland and across the EU are regularly victims of odometer fraud or car clocking. The solution to this problem costs only a fraction of the economic and safety damage caused, which is why it is so vital to implement concrete legislation in this area. Car clocking is not only criminal, but it may put lives of car buyers and road users at risk. EU policy must reflect the seriousness of this issue and legislate accordingly.
The Irish motor industry will welcome such policy measures, as odometer tampering affects consumers as well as car dealers, car leasing companies, garages, authorities and many more. Cars which are most likely to undergo odometer manipulation are corporate cars, private cars with high mileage, taxis and express vans, as well as short and long-term rental vehicles. This seller’s gain is usually to the detriment of a buyer, whose car is in reality worth less and is more likely to incur anticipated maintenance and repair costs as well as safety implications and
According to the European Commission, it is estimated that 30 % to 50 % of second-hand cars traded across the borders within the EU market have their odometer manipulated.