UK drivers with 'used cars' could be owed £8,000 each due to mileage

Drivers with used cars or secondhand motors could be owed £1,000s after a used car dealer was ordered to pay out over an increasingly common scam. SMC Cars and Commercials has been ordered to pay £8,000 to customers over a scam.

It appeared in court on five counts of fraud - after winding back the clocks on motors and selling them at a higher rate. Car Dealer reported SMC Cars & Commercials director Samuel McConnell and sales executive Ryan McKittrick appeared in Northern Ireland's Newry Crown Court on Friday.

The pair pleaded guilty to five charges under the Fraud Act of 2006. The charges came after a customer complained and the Department for the Economy’s Trading Standards Service (TSS) subsequently investigated the firm.

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After the case, the TSS’s Eavan Dunlop said this week: "The number of vehicles uncovered by this investigation and the degree by which their mileages had been altered points to a systematic 'clocking' operation by the two individuals.

"Cars were purchased with high mileages and subsequently sold to unsuspecting consumers with lower mileages. With the rising prices of second-hand cars, it is vitally important that consumers have confidence in local car dealerships.

"Car traders have a legal responsibility to ensure that all descriptions applied to vehicles are accurate and not misleading to consumers. The Trading Standards Service remains committed to investigating those car traders that attempt to take advantage of consumers."

The dealership was ordered to pay £7,920 in compensation to the customers, and had to be paid within 12 weeks. Clocking is the illegal practice of winding back the odometer on a high–mileage car to increase its apparent value and asking price. Every 1,000 miles removed increases the value substantially.

One was found to have had 52,000 miles wiped from the records, the court heard last week.