The seller is legally required to give you a Car-Pass.

Always ask for your Car-Pass

Are you buying a used vehicle or light van in Belgium? The seller is legally required to give you a Car-Pass. It doesn't matter whether the car is being sold commercially or privately. The Car-Pass shows the odometer reading on different dates. The document may not be older than two months old. If you do not receive a Car-Pass, the sale is invalid and you can request to cancel the contract and a full refund.

Test the authenticity of your Car-Pass

Things you need to pay attention to

The more odometer readings there are on the Car-Pass, the more insight you will have into the history of the vehicle. The odometer should increase steadily over time. Does the document show a sudden decline in the odometer reading? That could show that someone has clocked the odometer. You should therefore ask some critical questions to the seller before you buy the vehicle.

The buyer of a second-hand car is able to see on the Car-Pass document which European standard the car complies with, how much CO2 it emits, whether the vehicle still has to undergo an assessment after an accident and whether any recall actions still have to be carried out. In short, you will not only be able to form a clear picture of the mileage history, but there will also be information that can influence your purchasing decision. After all, the Euro standard determines whether or not you can drive into a Low Emission Zone (LEZ), and if so, during which times. The CO2 emissions, on the other hand, play a role in determining the amount of vehicle tax payable and fuel consumption.

Vehicles that have been involved in a major accident must undergo a rigorous assessment. Some of these vehicles are offered for sale after faulty repair without having been assessed. So always check on the Car-Pass if the the vehicle still needs an inspection after accident.

When vehicles are used in a wide variety of conditions, it is still possible for manufacturing faults to become apparent, which may pose a risk to safety or the environment. This is a reason for the manufacturer to organise a recall. The manufacturer then asks the owners to have their vehicle inspected by an authorised repairer. This repairer can then make the necessary adjustments. Of course, it may be that the owner fails to respond to the manufacturer's request. In that case, the recall remains "open". These open recalls appear on the Car-Pass.

The Car-Pass is printed on special paper to protect it from counterfeiting or fraud. Do you have doubts about the authenticity of the document or the information it contains? You can test the authenticity of your Car-Pass here or scan the QR code.

Check de Car-Pass data before you buy a used car.

A trader offers a pre-owned vehicle for sale subject to mandatory disclosure of the Car-Pass details in the relevant ads and the showroom. The trader can retrieve the electronic data from Car-Pass. In order to clearly present this link to vehicle history in a uniform and easily recognisable way, Car-Pass developed a specific logo.

By clicking on this logo, you will see on screen the most recent information about the vehicle known to Car-Pass. Hence, you will be able to check the mileage history of the vehicle, its CO2 emissions and the Euro standard. It is also mentioned if there are any open recalls and if the vehicle still needs an inspection after accident. Naturally, the Car-Pass document is also mandatory for eventual sale.

Beware of odometer fraud in case of import

Each year tens of thousands of vehicles are imported into Belgium, and of course they don’t necessarily cause problems. But it is important to know that a Car-Pass is only legally required in Belgium. Car-Pass does not receive mileages from garages abroad except for the following two cases:

  1. For cars imported from the Netherlands, Car-Pass receives from RDW, the agency that manages the Dutch central database, the odometer readings recorded in that country. The Dutch mileage history is shown on the Car-Pass document.
  2. Most of the car manufacturers have also a database with mileage records, registered by their dealer network in Belgium and abroad. As from the 1st January 2020, they are obliged to share this information with Car-Pass when a vehicle of their brand(s) is imported into Belgium.

However, it is still possible that no mileage information from abroad is available. In that case, the first odometer reading that is recorded in our database is the one that is written down during the import inspection. Unfortunately, there are fraudsters who clock the odometers before going to the technical inspection. So be careful before buying a used car that is imported from abroad.

For imported used cars, the date of first registration in Belgium will not be filled out or will be more recent than the date of the first use. At the bottom of the Car-Pass is mentioned: "This used vehicle was imported from abroad."

More about Car-Pass

Do you still have questions?

Below you will find the answer to frequently asked questions by buyers.

What is a Car-Pass?

A Car-Pass is a document that shows the odometer history of a vehicle. It shows the registered odometer readings and the dates when they were recorded. You get a picture of the mileage history of the vehicle and can better judge whether the odometer reading at the time of sale is realistic. The document also contains other information:

  • the Vehicle Identification number (VIN) of the vehicle;
  • the make and model of the vehicle;
  • the Euro emission standard;
  • the CO2-emissions;
  • if the vehicle needs a technical inspection after accident;
  • if there are any open recalls on the vehicle; 
  • the date on which the vehicle was first registered (in Belgium);
  • the unique QR code and ID number of the Car-Pass (which makes it possible to check the authenticity of the document);

When do you need a Car-Pass?

Whenever a used car or light van is sold, the seller is legally required to give a Car-Pass to the buyer. It doesn't matter whether the seller is a private person, professional dealer or garage.

The only exception to this rule: if the buyer is a professional, no Car-Pass needs to be provided. 

So if you sell a used vehicle to a foreign private person, you are also required to provide a Car-Pass.

Does another sales document have to be prepared when a used vehicle is sold?

If  a professional car trader is selling a used car or light commercial vehicle to a private person, he his obliged by the law on the information to be provided when selling used cars, to draw up a sales document, that includes at least the following information:

make and model of the vehicle;

Vehicle Identification number (VIN);

year of first registration;

the odometer reading on the date of sale;

the sales price;

the date of the sale;

the identities of both contracting parties;

their signature (unless all of the abovementioned information is shown on the sales invoice).

As of 1 November 2019, the Royal Decree of 5 april 2019 will enter into force. This Royal Decree foresees additional information to be included in the sales contract.

The document must be prepared in duplicate and each party must receive a copy. When the sale of the used vehicle is between private parties, there is no legal requirement to make up such a document. It is advisable to do so, however, to prevent possible disputes in the future.

No Car-Pass provided: what are your rights?

A Car-Pass is legally required. If a private buyer does not receive a Car-Pass, the law gives him the right to have the contract of sale cancelled. If the buyer asks a court to do so, the court will have to rule that the purchase is invalid. The purchase will therefore be considered as not existing and the purchase price will have to be repaid to the buyer.

Where can I get a Car-Pass?

If you want to sell a used car, you have to take it in for a used car inspection. The odometer reading will be prepared and issued automatically on the spot if the car passes the inspection.

It's not necessary to present the vehicle for a full inspection in order to get a Car-Pass. You can also just ask for a Car-Pass.

The vehicle will have to be physically brought in before a Car-Pass will be issued, however. The Vehicle Identification number (VIN) and the odometer reading must be recorded in order to have a Car-Pass made.

How long is a Car-Pass valid ?

The law states that the Car-Pass provided with a used vehicle must be of recent date. In practice, that means that the Car-Pass may not be more than two months old.

Can I check the authenticity of a Car-Pass?

The Car-Pass is printed on special paper that contains a hologram to make counterfeiting and fraud much more difficult. Do you suspect your document is a forgery or the odometer readings are incorrect? You can scan the QR code or fill in the identifcation number here. What you will see on the screen should match with the data on the document. If this isn't the case or if you get an error message, then most probably the document is a fraud or has expired since quite some time.

What happens to cars that have been imported from abroad?

For imported vehicles the date of first registration in Belgium will not be filled out on the Car-Pass or will be more recent than the date of the first use. At the bottom of the Car-Pass is mentioned: “This used vehicle was imported from abroad." Car-Pass does not receive any mileage readings for the period during which it was not registered in Belgium, except for the following two cases:

  1. For cars imported from the Netherlands, Car-Pass receives from RDW, the agency that manages the Dutch central database, the odometer readings recorded in that country. The Dutch mileage history is shown on the Car-Pass document.
  2. Most of the car manufacturers have also a database with mileage records, registered by their dealer network in Belgium and abroad. As from the 1st January 2020, they are obliged to share this information with Car-Pass when a vehicle of their brand(s) is imported into Belgium.

However, it is still possible that no mileage information from abroad is available. In that case, the first odometer reading that is recorded in our database is the one that is written down during the import inspection. Unfortunately, there are fraudsters who clock the odometers before going to the technical inspection. So be careful before buying a used car that is imported from abroad.

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