The Government has been accused of ignoring the issue of mileage fraud – where criminals alter the mileage on cars’ odometers - after it gave a non-committal response to the latest consultation on the issue.

Ten months after the consultation closed the Government finally gave its response but said only it “will consider further what measures, if any, are needed”.

“NFDA is disappointed to see that Government continues to ignore the serious issue of mileage fraud. This fraud is costing the UK nearly 1.5 billion every year and, with over 500,000 cars estimated to have a false mileage history, is putting thousands of motorists at risks,” said Sue Robinson, director of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA).

Altering a vehicle’s odometer to show a lower mileage than that actually travelled is not itself illegal. However, the practice of selling a ‘clocked’ vehicle to someone, without notifying them that the vehicle’s mileage has been altered is illegal. Historically, this has been to increase the value of a vehicle, but many consumers are now adjusting their cars’ mileages to avoid excess mileage penalty fees that are part of a car’s finance agreement.

Robinson continued: “It is frustrating to see that although ‘many respondents recommended possible actions to address the issue of clocking more effectively, as acknowledged by Government, Government continues to ignore industry calls for action.

“Recent figures show that mileage fraud is on the rise. This comes as no surprise as, with current technologies, modern odometers can be altered very easily and without detection. The significant increase of ‘clocked’ cars over recent years reflects this.

“Cars and vans are serviced based on their mileage and with lower mileage readings they can remain unserviced for longer periods of time with serious safety implications. This can have grave implications on road user safety. Something which the NFDA and many respondents noted within their consultation responses.

“Over the past few years, NFDA, alongside other organisations, has campaigned, actively engaged with Government, and gained support from a number of MPs and Lords. We consider today’s response to the consultation, which was published nearly a year ago to be extremely limited.

“We will be questioning why Government chose to amend legislation following recommendations surrounding roadworthiness testing, but not following more industry calls to outlaw all mileage adjustment and follow in the footsteps of the Republic of Ireland and the USA.”

“We will continue to campaign and call on Government to change the law to outlaw all forms of mileage adjustment, including mileage adjustment companies and mileage adjustment equipment.”