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Mileage clocking: new software risk

19 June 2006

  • Software available on internet to 'clock' cars
  • Products being sold under 'dubious' descriptions
  • Call for compulsory mileage register to beat fraud

'Clocking' a car is worryingly easy, with kits available from the internet

Used car buyers risk being ripped off, as 'clocking' software becomes more easily available on the internet.

These electronic products are designed to reprogramme the car's ECU (its electronic brain) for servicing purposes. However, they can also be used to reduce the mileage reading of a car - 'clock it' - and so increase its value.

DIY kits for mileage correction are available over the internet for as little as £15. While these products hide behind the description of 'for servicing purposes only,' the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) thinks this is dubious.

A spokesman told What Car?: 'There are very few legitimate reasons for altering the mileage of a car, and we would urge people to consider what they are doing before they break the law.'

There is no compulsory mileage register, which would help stamp out clocking, so buyers must rely on the service book for clues.

More should be done, says said the SMMT's spokesman. 'Anything that tightens up the vehicle registration system is in the interest of both private buyers and the retail industry.'

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