The impact of the Covid 19 crisis
Saying that 2020 was a very exceptional year is stating the obvious. The year had started strong but then the corona virus hit. During the spring lockdown inspection stations were closed for some time and all showrooms had to close. However, from mid-May onwards, sales of used vehicles showed a strong resurgence. In the end, we closed 2020 at 791,981 Car-Passes. This is a minor drop: 3.6% lower than the previous year.
During the first lockdown in the spring, activity in the workshops dropped by 80%. Only urgent repairs were permitted to be accepted by the workshops. Car-Pass figures show that economic activity rebounded in May, but the industry has never been able to fully catch up. In 2020, Car-Pass received 8.2 million odometer readings from after-sales activities. This is a 14.5% decrease compared to 2019.
The fight against odometer fraud is being stepped up.
For the first time, Car-Pass received foreign odometer readings from the car manufacturers' central databases, which allowed us to better detect fraud in imported vehicles. A total of 1,716 cases of odometer fraud were uncovered in 2020. Of this total, 1,111 were domestic sales (0.16% of the total) and 605 (2.4%) cases showed tampering upon importing the vehicle into our country. On average, the odometer reading of Belgian vehicles was reduced by more than 55,000 kilometers. The average mileage ‘lost’ in foreign vehicles was no less than 100,000 km.
So, when buying an imported vehicle, it makes sense to carefully inspect the Car-Pass. Not only is the risk of fraud significantly higher, the number of kilometers taken off the odometer is also almost twice as high on average. An imported 2003 Volkswagen Golf tops the table with a drop of almost half a million km. The table shows the ten biggest fraud cases.
Michel Peelman, managing director of Car-Pass confirms:” This past year, Car-Pass received mileage readings from imported and connected vehicles from car manufacturers for the first time. An absolute first in Europe, which makes it possible to uncover odometer fraud with imported second-hand vehicles. This is not a superfluous luxury, because the probability of fraud in imports is ten times higher than for domestic sales. I call on the manufacturers and importers who have not yet provided this information to quickly comply with Belgian legislation.”