A car dealer has been jailed after “clocking” 2,750,000 miles from 32 second-hand vehicles, which he sold on to garages.
Ashley Wilson, 27, of Longfield Avenue, Fareham, Hampshire, was sentenced at Portsmouth Crown Court after being convicted of fraud and gaining £445,957 from the sale of the cars.
He was jailed for 45 months. Wilson was also given a further 12 months for breaching a previous suspended sentence.
Wilson was brought to court following an investigation by Hampshire County Council trading standards officers.
“Ashley Wilson was convicted on charges relating to reducing displayed mileages on 32 vehicles, commonly known as ‘car clocking’, totalling 2,750,000 miles,” a spokesman for the local authority said.
“He was also found to have falsified car service histories to hide the significant reduction in mileage.
“In total 33 vehicles were fraudulently sold to legitimate car dealers across the country through several online dealer trading platforms.
“The defendant sold the cars for a combined total of £445,957.80.”
Conviction is ‘a great result for consumers’
Councillor Russell Oppenheimer, the 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 result 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.
“Our advice is to always make a few precautionary checks, no matter who you buy a used car from, to reduce the chances of buying a vehicle that’s being sold illegally, or under false pretences.
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“This could include using the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency’s free online vehicle checker, viewing the car’s MOT history via GOV.UK, or even paying for an independent report on the condition of the car.
“Any of these steps can reveal problems before you commit to making a purchase.”