Clocking loophole closing

In what we hope will bring about the end to nefarious 'mileage correction' firms (clockers, in old-timer speak), the boss of one such company has been jailed for nine months.

Colin Ogle, proprietor of Swindon Decodes, pleaded guilty to five charges under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations (CPRs) 2008. It’s the first time a provider of mileage correction services, rather than a seller of clocked vehicles, has been jailed in relation to such a crime.

How clocking used to be done
How clocking used to be done
Until now, mileage correction companies such as Ogle’s have attempted to trade under a veil of legitimacy.  Their claim was that their activities were entirely legal, and that it was only illegal to sell on a car whose mileage had been tampered with. The internet is still awash with firms offering similar services. 

This conviction explodes that myth, and suggests that the vast majority of these businesses have been built up on an illegal premise.

The sentence comes as a result of an OFT market study into second hand cars, which estimated the potential loss to consumers of illegal car clocking to be up to £580m per year. The OFT said its investigation had concluded that “in certain circumstances, the business practises of mileage correction service providers may breach the CPRs” and added that its market study “also stated that to avoid prosecution, mileage correction businesses would need to show that they had taken all reasonable precautions and exercised all due diligence to avoid the commission of an offence.”

So if you hear a mileage correction advocate describing the activity as totally legit, point out the Ogle case and see what they say. Nevertheless, there is still something of a legal grey area surrounding the legitimacy of these firms’ activities, which is why vehicle data provider HPI has been leading a campaign for clearer legislation and stronger measures to be taken in an effort to shut them down.

The company has launched a Government e-Petition, which it’s urging car enthusiasts to sign, in an effort to have the matter looked at more closely by lawmakers.

You can put your name to the e-Petition here – with a bit of luck, it’ll lead to more convictions for fraudsters like Ogle, and reduce the opportunities out there for people who want to make a quick buck out of honest motorists.

P.H. O'meter

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Comments (170) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Numeric 26 Nov 2012

    I hate clocking but am well aware how much it happens. I'm old enough to remember when BMW bought out what may have been the first digital mileage guage under the claim of being clocker proof! A few months later I was shown in a Frankfurt backstreet by a nefarious hoodlum how much easier it was to clock a car with a computer and his love of the BMW system - saved so much messing around with a screw driver!

  • oilit 26 Nov 2012

    Good news!

    There is no legitimate need for these services...any use of them is purely illegal IMHO. The excuse of a change of clocks due to old ones being faulty/broken and wanting to show correct mileage is BS - I would rather buy from somebody who told me the truth and the retained the old non working clock, receipt for new one, and the service history and MOTs to show the traceability!

  • Vipers 26 Nov 2012

    Why is it so bloody difficult to impose laws that can prosecute these slimy barstewards rather than leaving sort of legal loopholes to let them wriggle out of.

    That's Britain for you. Drop a shopping list in the high street, bang £60 fine for littering.

    Clock a car taking thousands off the value, well it's sort of not actually illegal my honour. (smirk smirk)


  • Motorrad 26 Nov 2012

    Agree that firms like this shouldn't be allowed to operate openly.

    However anyone thinking this will make the problem go away are very naive.

    I read this article and within 60 seconds found a kit that will allow me to achieve the same results- the cat is out of the bag.

  • Chevykevv 26 Nov 2012

    Why has it took so long? This problem has been around for years!

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