16th June 2023

Online trader jailed for ‘car-clocking’

A car dealer who altered vehicle mileages has been jailed following a Hampshire Trading Standards investigation.

By JTS Staff
Journal of Trading Standards' in-house team
The practice of altering vehicle mileages is both illegal and could endanger lives

A used car trader who illegally adjusted vehicles’ mileages has been jailed for a total of 57 months following a successful prosecution by Hampshire County Council Trading Standards.

Ashley Wilson (27) of Longfield Avenue in Fareham was sentenced at Portsmouth Crown Court on 9 June to 45 months imprisonment, plus a further 12 months as part of a previous suspended sentence.

Hampshire Trading Standards’ investigation revealed that Wilson had altered the mileages on 32 vehicles in a practice commonly known as ‘car clocking’. He was also found to have falsified vehicle service histories to hide the significant reduction in mileage displayed. In total 33 vehicles were fraudulently sold to legitimate car dealers across the country through online dealer trading platforms. Wilson sold the cars for a combined total of £445,957.80.

Councillor Russell Oppenheimer, Hampshire County Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for Trading Standards, said: “This is a great result for consumers who have been protected by Hampshire Trading Standards from the illegal activities of an individual who contrived to sell on second-hand cars dishonestly through legitimate traders. ‘Car clocking’ is a serious criminal activity that can affect anyone who buys a used vehicle in the second-hand market, and results in people paying more than the market price as well as risking further unexpected repair costs because the car has more miles on the clock than advertised.”

The investigation was supported by the National Trading Standards (NTS) Tri-Regional Investigation team, who provided additional investigative and operational support.

Trish Burls, Chair of the NTS Tri-Regional Investigation Team, said: “The practice of altering vehicle mileages is both illegal and could endanger lives. The sentencing in this case should act as a deterrent for those engaged in this type of activity and finalises another successful collaboration between the Tri -Regional Investigation team and Hampshire County Council’s Trading Standards Officers.

“Our joint approach ensured a prompt investigation, highlighting the value of partnership working that allowed serious fraud directed at consumers across the country to be tackled.”

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