A better way to stop clocking

  14 September 2015

This week’s launch of a new anti-clocking campaign by the RMI being led by the NFDA was particularly fascinating and led me to two thoughts.

While a law banning all clocking may not be to the Government’s liking simply because it is Conservative policy to cut red tape, not introduce more laws, there are two clear ways that clocking could be stopped.

Firstly, because the current growth in clocking comes from private individuals trying to avoid end-of-PCP mileage charges, if there were a few high profile cases of individuals being prosecuted this would change the perception of the crime. Currently you could argue that clocking (on an individual’s level) is seen as a victimless crime and akin to illegally downloading music or a film.

The difficulty with this is that even if a retailer spots that a car coming back at the end of a PCP agreement has been clocked, it would be difficult to prove and would you, as a retailer about to sell that person their next PCP, want to sue a repeat customer?

To my mind, the better option is to allow technology to solve the problem.

While clocking a car is easy thanks to European legislation that says manufacturers have to make their cars’ systems accessible, if the car’s mileage wasn’t just stored in the car then it would be much easier to check its accuracy.

In other words, if some cars are already connected manufacturer databases, then the mileage can be stored more securely than on the car’s odometer. Then all that would be needed at the end of a PCP contract is for a check between the two to be carried out.

So, roll-on the widespread introduction of connected cars and the problem is gone.

Tristan Young

Editorial Director

Auto Retail Network

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