7 Jun 18

Legal framework to combat clocking underway

The EU estimates that 5 to 12 percent of used cars sold inside EU countries have been clocked. For cars that leave the EU, this percentage goes up to a staggering 30 to 50 percent.

The EU Commission is considering calls to draft new laws to combat mileage fraud. Much to the satisfaction of industry data and technology company Cap hpi, which has led industry support for MEPs who have called for new legislation to combat odometer fraud.

3 pillars: registering, criminalising and monitoring

The proposals are based on 3 pillars: regular readings and national data registers, making clocking a criminal offence, and monitoring how OEMs protect odometers against manipulation.

“In Belgium and the Netherlands where readings are collected more frequently than elsewhere, odometer fraud has been almost eradicated”, said Barry Shorto, head of industry relations at Cap hpi. “Even though clocking has a negative impact on road safety, only six EU countries recognise odometer manipulation as a criminal offence. We fully support calls for mileage alternation or clocking to be made liable to prosecution.”

Registering data regularly and nationally

 Thanks to national mileage data registers, to be made accessible across borders, buyers of a used car should be able to verify the accuracy of its odometer reading, regardless of the EU country in which it was previously registered.

Recording odometer readings could also be made mandatory at each periodic technical inspection, each service, maintenance and repair operation carried out, and at every other garage visit, starting with the vehicle’s first registration.

Restoring faith while saving €6-9bn

“If the EU Commission turns our recommendations into draft laws, it could provide an annual benefit of 6 to 9 billion euros and restore consumers' trust in the used car market”, said EU rapporteur Ismail Ertug.

“Moreover, it would contribute to road safety. This is a great opportunity to demonstrate true European added value by protecting consumers”, he added.

Following the adoption of the legislative initiative resolution in the European Parliament on May 31st (577 votes in favour, 32 against, 19 abstentions), the EU Commission will have to table a legislative proposal or justify why it has not done so.


Authored by: Dieter Quartier