Car buyers now have more power to detect when a car’s odometer has been tampered with, with a new service called ClockCatcher joining the fight to stamp out odometer fraud.
ClockCatcher’s technology uses the car’s unique Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and Registration to search historic car listings, uncovering any signs of potential tampering.
Consumers simply input the VIN number and Rego into the ClockCatcher search engine and, if the car is on the ClockCatcher database they are provided with a report of recent previous listings, allowing the consumer to make a more informed decision on whether the odometer has been wound back.
The Australian Consumer Crime and Conduct Commission believes one in ten used cars in Australia have had their odometers changed to make the car look more enticing for buyers.
Peter Dever from the Motor Trades Association said odometer scams cost Australians millions of dollars each year.
“We need to get cars that have had had their odometer tampered with off the road and ClockCatcher provides another way for consumers to check you’re not wasting your money on a lemon,” he said
“What you buy on Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree might not be all it seems,
“If you’re looking at a car that’s had a couple of thousand kilometres clipped off it, the wear and tear on that vehicle — brakes, suspension — is a major safety issue.
‘The last thing you want is to buy what you think is a low-kilometre car, only to have the gearbox drop out of it.”
The services’ website says it doesn’t have 100% of historic data but is working hard to improve its database.
Tampering with odometers to make them show a false reading is illegal and perpetrators can be fined up to $30,960.00 or 2 years imprisonment.
Queensland’s Office of Fair Trading investigates such complaints and will prosecute offenders, if they can be identified.
Anyone who believes they have purchased a second-hand vehicle that has been subject to odometer tampering or is unroadworthy is advised to have the vehicle mechanically checked and contact the Office of Fair Trading.
For more information about ClockCatcher or to search the database, go to clockcatcher.com.au.
The VIN can be found on the vehicle’s registration document, on the build plaque in the engine bay, passenger side windscreen or driver/passenger door jamb.