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As industry players join forces, raising consumer safety fears on the back of the Government’s plans to consult on extending the MoT period from three years to four years – as announced in the budget – HPI warns that the proposed changes would also see the risk of fraud from clockers escalate.
Neil Hodson, Managing Director for HPI, says of the Chancellor’s proposal, “There are clearly some safety concerns surrounding the idea of extending the MoT period by a further 12 months, but there is also an increased risk of fraud.
“Whilst it’s fair to assume that older cars are the most likely to have their mileage reading altered, the reality is that around a third of all cars checked by the trade with HPI are found to have a mileage discrepancy within the first three years of their life. Extending the period for a further fourth year, would see the number of pre-MoT cars with a suspect mileage, increasing putting dealers and used car buyers at significant risk.
“The danger for the dealer is that they unwittingly part exchange a clocked car, leaving them at risk of Trading Standards and legal repercussions, not to mention the damage to their reputation. Consumers may welcome the news of cost savings from a delayed MOT, but they could end up paying more than the car is worth, if they come a cropper of clocking. Turning back the miles allows fraudsters to push the price up on a vehicle. An unsuspecting buyer won’t realise they’ve just paid over the odds for a vehicle that’s done more miles than the odometer suggests, meaning more wear and tear and potentially, expensive repairs.”
Not only does the HPI National Mileage Register (NMR) contain over 200 million mileage records covering vehicles of all ages, dating as far back as 1992, it crucially holds the mileage readings of vehicles less than 3 years of age.
The NMR collates and stores mileage data from a number of sources, including the DVLA, warranty and service records. A mileage check against the NMR includes an NMR Investigation, if the mileage is found to be discrepant. This will exhaust all avenues to ensure the mileage is legitimate or not – enabling the dealer to make an informed purchase decision.
Neil Hodson concludes, “A mileage check is a vital tool for dealers looking to operate best practice. Not only will it give dealers the reassurance that they have met their duty of care under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations, it will protect their business and their customers, as well as raising standards within the motor industry, as a whole. The proposed extension on the MoT offers motorists savings on one hand, but it could cost them and the industry a lot more if it gives clockers a free ride.”