Fleet News

OFT calls for tougher legislation to curb unscrupulous car dealers

THE Office of Fair Trading has called for new powers to be put in place to stop unscrupulous second-hand car dealers. Its report, 'Selling Second-hand Cars', adds weight to the growing campaign against clocking, which OFT estimates cheats consumers out of £100 million a year, and calls on all those who deal with information about vehicles to make the details available to database companies.

Among measures to protect consumers, it wants new legislation to outlaw mileage alteration services and their advertisements, the banning of disclaimers where dealers have made no check against clocking, and mandatory inclusion of mileages on registration documents. It also wants the authorities to be given tougher powers to address malpractice and ban dealers who break the rules. Commenting on the findings of the report, director general of Fair Trading John Bridgeman said: 'The extent of the problem is appalling. Action must be taken to significantly reduce the risk in buying a used car.'

The fleet industry is already at the forefront of the fight against clocking and the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association's own vehicle mileage database, run with Vehicle Mileage Check, recently topped the million vehicle mark .The OFT report noted that only a few buyers would pay for data from commercial firms, but said that as more firms entered the market the cost would drop and accuracy would improve.

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