Editor's choice
17 Aug 21

CARA supports free access to Car Data

In its new position paper ‘In-Car Data 2021’, the Car Remarketing Association Europe (CARA) comes out firmly in support of open and free access to a vast part of in-car data. With the paper, CARA aims to contribute to the political discussion on a thorny issue: who is allowed to use which data produced by vehicles?

The paper, which can be downloaded on the CARA website, adds an innovative element to that discussion: a detailed list of car data categories, with a clear position on data ownership for each of them. CARA’s position is that in-car data need to be attached to a car and stay accessible through the entire remarketing transaction of a used vehicle.

Car owner owns car data

“With this standpoint and the CARA List, CARA clearly expresses the condition that car owners should decide about car data. So, it’s not the OEM and in many cases not the driver who decides – but instead it’s the owner,” said Roland Gagel, CARA Board Member and leader of CARA’s In-Car Data workgroup.

However, this does not entail a blanket acceptance of total data availability. The initial car owners should have freedom of choice on where to store and process their data but to safeguard privacy and ensure GDPR compliance, vehicle data must be ‘depersonalised’ when defleeting vehicles. This should give new owners access to their vehicle’s (depersonalised) history. In turn, the new owners should again have freedom of choice on where to store and process their data.

In short, CARA believes car owners (of both first-use and second-hand cars) should be the primary deciders on how to deal with their in-car data. However, that clear position does not prevent complex situations and potential issues further down the line.


That is why CARA has drawn up a detailed list of various in-car data categories, and has proposed clear positions on the ownership and access rights for the data in each of those categories.

The “CARA List” of In-Car Data categorises the in-car data according to 7 data fields, 5 data types, 3 data transaction types, 3 data volume types, 3 data volume velocity types and 4 types relevant for remarketing. From this emerges a clear picture of the various types of in-car data, to which CARA has assigned an assessment as to the ownership and usage rights, per category.

Wolfgang Reinhold, CARA Chairman, added: “With this position paper, CARA will continue to support policy-making that genuinely reflects the concerns and needs of the many companies up and down the remarketing chain. And what’s more, the paper supports the EU’s goals with regard to sustainability, consumer protection and the circular economy.”

Photo copyright: Shutterstock

Authored by: Benjamin Uyttebroeck