Clocking on the rise

Clocking is becoming more sophisticated and a bigger problem, according to Louise Wallis, head of business development for the NFDA.

Clockers reduce a car’s mileage in order to avoid excess mileage charges when the vehicle goes back at the end of a lease or PCP agreement, but rather than just doing it once just before it goes back, criminals are now becoming more organised.

 “We are hearing reports of people having their mileage clocked regularly throughout the cycle of their ownership – they will have it done before an MoT, they’ll have it done before it goes in for a service,” Ms Wallis said at the Vehicle Remarketing Association seminar.

She pointed out that the relative affordability of the practice – it can cost as little as £50 a time and is a simple software-based task – means that it is seen as being cost effective.

Although many clockers see the practice as a victimless crime, Ms Wallis said the problem goes far deeper.

“The other worrying thing is that it is also supporting other criminal activity, it helps with money laundering as you can buy cars cheaply and then keep money out of the cars by clocking them,” she said. “We have also had discussions with the Treasury about it funding terrorism, so there is a big political imperative about this at the moment.”

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