Car-Pass obligatory for used vehicles imported into Belgium
Over the last decade, Car-Pass has virtually eliminated mileage fraud in Belgium. But there's a fairly big loophole: imports are becoming more popular, and they're not covered by the system – not until 2020, that is.
Car-Pass is a database that collects mileage data throughout a car's first life; it is also a document that is legally required when reselling that car. This allows the buyer to double-check whether the car's odometer has been tampered with.
Of course, the system does not work for foreign cars, which are not subject to the same requirements from Car-Pass as Belgian cars. With predictable consequences. “The increase in used-vehicle imports goes hand in hand with an increased risk in mileage fraud,” confirms Michel Peelman, managing director of Car-Pass.
But that loophole is closing, Mr Peelman points out: “From 1 January 2020, manufacturers and importers will be legally required to report the mileage of the vehicles they import into Belgium to Car-Pass. In the absence of EU-wide regulations to prevent mileage fraud, this Belgian measure can't come soon enough.”
Mr Peelman's comments came as Car-Pass released its annual report for 2018. An overview of the most striking results:
- Last year, no more than 1,648 cases of mileage fraud were registered in Belgium. The average downward deviation was 64,326 km. The total: just over 106 million km.
- Things have deteriorated a little since a few years ago: in 2014, there were 1,239 cases of mileage fraud; a quarter less than in 2018. In 2014, the odometer turned back an average of 67,300 km, which leads to a total of just under 83.4 million km.
- But things have also improved immensely since before the introduction of Car-Pass: just over a decade ago, the number of used cars sold annually with the odometer tampered with ranged somewhere between 60,000 and 100,000.
- The most egregious case of mileage fraud in 2018 in Belgium was an Iveco Daily from 2011: the LCV had its odometer turned back from 572,670 km to 65,173 km, a difference of 507,497 km (more than 12 times the circumference of the earth).
- In 2018, 38% of mileage fraud cases detected in Belgium were caused by vehicles imported from the Netherlands. Thanks to cooperation between Car-Pass and RDW, the competent authority in the Netherlands, the volume of mileage fraud coming from the Netherlands has been reduced by 58% over two years.
- Last year, Car-Pass gathered 16.1 million individual mileage data entries from 11,848 companies in the automotive industry – an average of 2.5 entries per registered vehicle.
- The vehicle with the highest mileage in Belgium last year was a VW Sharad from 2012, with 999,981 km on the meter.
- Last year, a young diesel (less than 2 years old) had an average annual mileage of 26,657 km. For petrol cars of the same age, that figure is 14,219 km – just over half of the diesel average. Both figures diminish and converge as the cars' ages advance.
- In 2018, no less than 819,345 Car-Pass certificates were delivered. Almost 1 in 10 Car-Pass certificates relates to an imported used vehicle. That figure has grown by 50% over the past three years.
- Most (51%) of the imported used vehicles are petrol. This is in stark contrast to overall used-car sales in Belgium, which still strongly (63%) favour diesel.
The Belgian experience clearly shows two things: that a clever, easy and performant system like Car-Pass can comprehensively defeat mileage fraud; and that in the increasingly international context of vehicle remarketing, a purely national system is an inadequate solution. To paraphrase Mr Peelman: EU-wide regulations to prevent mileage fraud can't come soon enough!