Case reference: MP-G&C/008
Complainant: OFT own-initiative investigation
Purpose of the review
The aim of the review was, working in partnership with local authority
Trading Standards Services ('TSS'), to raise levels of compliance with
consumer protection legislation within the mileage correction sector.
The review built on previous work conducted by the OFT in respect of
mileage correction services. This includes:
- The publication of the OFT's market study into second hand cars in
March 2010, which
estimated the potential loss to consumers from illegal car clocking to
be up to £580m per year. The market study set out the OFT's belief
that legitimate instances of mileage adjustment appear to be rare, and
were unlikely to be sufficient to keep in business the number of
traders openly offering 'mileage correction services' throughout the
- An OFT investigation into the activities of Colin Michael Ogle, the
owner of a Swindon based mileage correction business, who pleaded
guilty to five charges under the Consumer Protection from Unfair
Trading Regulations 2008 ('CPRs') and eight charges under the Fraud
Act 2006 ('Fraud Act') and was sentenced, on 21 November 2012 at
Swindon Crown Court, to nine months' imprisonment for car clocking.
This was the first time the provider of 'mileage correction
services' had been convicted under consumer law.
Findings and outcomes
An online sweep by the OFT in the summer of 2012 identified 71 websites
offering mileage correction services in the UK.
OFT provided support for the relevant TSS, who contacted the traders
responsible for the websites and advised them about their
responsibilities under the CPRs - adjusting a vehicle's odometer
reading to show an inaccurate mileage is potentially a criminal offence
under the CPRs and the Fraud Act 2006 - together with
(pdf 128kb) they should take to help ensure compliance. Where
appropriate, traders were also advised about the need to comply with the
Electronic Commerce (EC Directive) Regulations 2002 where their website
failed to provide their name and contact information.
A follow up review of the identified websites was conducted by the OFT
during March 2013, which found that, following advice from TSS or the
OFT, traders had either closed down or made amendments to over
two-thirds of the websites.