This week has seen the first ever conviction of an owner of a mileage correction firm following a recent OFT investigation.
The Swindon-based owner of the ‘Mileage Correction Firm’, Michael Ogle, was jailed for nine months at Swindon Crown Court after admitting five charges under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations and eight charges of fraud.
This is the first time a provider of mileage correction services rather than a provider of clocked vehicles has been jailed.
Vehicle data company HPI has been lobbying parliament to shut down such firms, by launching an e-petition and calling upon the nation to back the fight against mileage correction firms.
Nicola Johnson, consumer services manager for HPI, said: "It is fantastic to see decisive action against the owners of these firms, who until now have acted without seeing any consequences, all the while costing used car buyers thousands.
The OFT investigated mileage correction firms as part of an extensive investigation into the used car market in 2010.
As a result, it estimated the potential loss to consumers from the purchase of vehicles with a false mileage is around £580m per year.
The OFT found that legitimate reasons for mileage adjustment were extremely rare, and at the time of its investigation there were over 50 websites advertising mileage correction services, which has now increased to 71.
Ali Nikpay, senior director at the OFT, said: "Thousands of consumers are paying over the odds for cars that have had their mileage illegally tampered with.
"This landmark prosecution sends a clear message out to those adjusting car mileages that they face prison if they break the law. We will be working closely with our enforcement partners to raise standards across the sector and ensure that appropriate action is taken where mileage correction businesses break the law.”