Consumer White Paper: Cars

White Paper: Dodgy contractors, short drinks and sharp practices in motor trade are focus of consumer crackdown
Click to follow
The Independent Online
The government is seeking ways to clamp down on unscrupulous car dealers who wind back mileage readings on used vehicles. The DVLA is considering a plan to insist that mileometer readings are reported when vehicles are registered and when licences are renewed. Proposals to computerise the MOT testing system could also help

Will it work? The White Paper had been a golden opportunity to "do something constructive" for the consumer, said David Evans, of the Retail Motor Industry Federation.

The Government seems to have missed this opportunity. Ministers should have taken the opportunity to make "clocking" a criminal offence. Perhaps its reluctance is based on ignorance of the degree to which this practice occurs. The industry is aware that the "clockers" who are caught form the tip of a very large iceberg.

Sources among motor retailers said that backstreet dealers would be unperturbed by the measure. Retailers are preparing their own measures which might prove more effective.

Mr Byers fails to set out how the system will be policed. Existing fines are seen as woefully inadequate.

Mr Evans said that apart from platitudes it had been a "damp squib" which perpetuated the pounds 100m fraud.