The study looks at the available research over the last seven years and concludes that effective means to prevent mileage fraud exist. It recommends Belgium’s Car-Pass system and a similar scheme used in the Netherlands as “best practice” that should inspire other member states and calls on the EU to act.
The five steps advocated by the authors are:
- The first mandatory roadworthiness inspection of a vehicle (periodic technical inspection – PTI) should take place sooner than the four years currently allowed by EU legislation;
- EU legislation should mandate, or at least recommend, the requirement of mileage registration not only at the time of PTI but also at each maintenance and service performed on a vehicle – the key success factor of Belgium’s Car-Pass system;
- Other Member States should be encouraged to learn from the effective systems implemented in the Netherlands and Belgium to eradicate mileage fraud; these systems could be adapted to the specific markets and legislative frameworks of each country;
- Information on a car’s real mileage must follow the vehicle when it is traded across borders; existing EU-wide platforms such as EUCARIS could be used to facilitate data exchange between authorities in a cost-effective manner and without duplication;
- Vehicle manufacturers need to develop and implement technical solutions to prevent odometer manipulation or make it much more difficult and costly for fraudsters; the effectiveness of such solutions should be evaluated in the years to come.
Car-Pass managing director Michel Peelman commented: “Yet another study concludes that odometer tampering is still a widespread malpractice in the European Union. At the same time this research on behalf of the European Parliament confirms that some rather straightforward remedies exist and if they were taken in conjunction, mileage fraud could be eradicated also in the many cross-border transactions of second-hand cars. 2018 should be the year when the European Union begins to act! In the meantime, consumers throughout Europe alas continue to bleed billions of euros that benefit no-one but fraudsters.”