Dear North Yorkshire County Council,
TRADING STANDARDS FOI
Illegal car clocking/ vehicle mileage adjustment is in the news at the moment as such could you answer the following questions.
1) How many cases of car clocking has your council investigated in the last 5 years?
2) Of those cases, how many were dealt with by prosecuting the suspected offenders?
3) How many of those prosecutions were successful?
4) In total, how many vehicles were involved in the successfully prosecuted cases?
5) What is your council’s policy for alerting innocent members of the public and motor trade
to vehicles the council has successfully proven have been "clocked"?
6) Can you provide confirmation in respect of question 5 of the type of action you have taken to warn people about the vehicles you have discovered to have been clocked?
For example, publishing vehicle details, alerting Auto Trader or other specialist publications; registering data with HPI and other mileage data services.
7) Has the council or trading standards department seized any "clocked" vehicles over the past five years and subsequently destroyed them?
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Dear Mr Robson,
I refer to your request made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000,
and have set out the response to each question below.
1) How many cases of car clocking has your council investigated in the
last 5 years?
15 reports or complaints of suspected car clocking were investigated. In
some cases there was no evidence that a car had been clocked, in others
the amount clocked was minimal compared to the age and value of the car
(for example 6,000 miles on a 12 year old car), and in some there had been
a clerical error on a service record, invoice or similar. One trader was
bankrupt and no longer trading. Three traders were provided with written
advice following our enquiries.
2) Of those cases, how many were dealt with by prosecuting the suspected
3) How many of those prosecutions were successful?
4) In total, how many vehicles were involved in the successfully
5) What is your council’s policy for alerting innocent members of the
public and motor trade to vehicles the council has successfully proven
have been "clocked"?
The county council does not have a written policy. Clocked cars are not
illegal items in themselves and may continue to be sold as long as they
are correctly described by the seller. The county council has a statutory
duty to enforce the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations
2008, under which it is an offence for a trader to describe a vehicle
using a false mileage, if an offence has been committed. However, it is
the responsibility of the trader to ensure that he does not trade
unfairly, including by referring to false mileages in connection with the
sale or advertisement of motor vehicles.
6) Can you provide confirmation in respect of question 5 of the type of
action you have taken to warn people about the vehicles you have
discovered to have been clocked?
For example, publishing ývehicle details, alerting Auto Trader or other
specialist publications; registering data with HPI and other mileage data
See 5 above.
7) Has the council or trading standards department seized any "clocked"
vehicles ýover the past five years and subsequently destroyed them?
The county council trading standards service has powers to seize goods in
limited circumstances including to allow for testing or to provide
evidence for court proceedings. Goods may be retained for no more than 3
months from the date of seizure, or where they are evidence in proceedings
for no longer than they are required for that purpose. There is no
statutory power for a trading standards service to destroy seized goods,
although a court may be asked to order the forfeiture of counterfeit goods
for destruction. As set out in 5 above, clocked cars may still be sold as
long as they are described correctly.
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Dear Jo Boutflower,
Thank you for your comprehensive reply.