Car-Pass: ‘blatant cases of odometer fraud in 2023’

Last year,  Car-Pass identified 1,640 cases of odometer fraud in selling second-hand cars, 300 more than in 2022. In 2021, 1,578 cases of ‘reverted’ counters were revealed. A Mercedes E200 from 2012 led the top ten: its odometer was turned back by 560,000 kilometers.

Of the 1,640 fraud cases, 1,055 cars involved domestic sales. On average, the odometer was turned back by 70,000 kilometers. Still, this number remains very limited (0,2%) despite the 689,170 sales of second-hand cars. “It shows the system works very well,” says Michel Peelman, CEO of Car-Pass.

This illustration shows the 10 most serious frauds of 2023 /

Introduced in 2020

Since 2020, manufacturers must provide Car-Pass with the odometer reading of their vehicles registered in Belgium four times a year. Car-Pass manages the central register with the odometer readings of the Belgian vehicle fleet to protect second-hand car buyers from odometer fraud. The odometer reading is noted and passed on during each technical inspection visit.

Last year, Car-Pass processed 19.38 million odometer readings, 8.2% more than in 2022 and an absolute record. These data provide the organization with a good overview of Belgian car mobility. Sales of second-hand cars rebounded (+7% to 813,835 units) after the difficult year of 2022, the Car-Pass data show.

VW, BMW, and Mercedes

The average Belgian car drove 14,075 kilometers last year, 2.5% more than in 2022 and 15.4% more than in 2021. On average, the Belgian second-hand cars and vans for which a Car-Pass was issued were 9.3 years old.

Volkswagen remains by far the most popular brand in the used market. The German premium brands BMW and Mercedes complete the top three. The figures also show that used gasoline cars are becoming more popular than diesel cars. The number of Car Passes for electric vehicles has increased fivefold in four years but remains very limited in absolute numbers at 13,365 (1.64%).

Mileage fraud

More than 60 million second-hand cars are sold in the EU every year, and European consumers pay billions of euros too much due to mileage fraud every year. According to State Secretary for Consumer Protection Alexia Bertrand, mileage fraud is a major priority of the Belgian presidency of the EU.

In all Member States, garages, inspection centers, leasing companies, and governments register vehicle odometer readings. It is crucial to bring these data together and make them accessible to buyers and sellers of second-hand cars to provide transparency about the vehicle’s mileage history. It is the most efficient way to combat odometer fraud.


The Belgian Presidency, therefore, advocates an exchange of this data between the Member States to ensure traceability when a used car is exported to another Member State.

Michel Peelman: “I am very pleased that Belgium is putting this theme back on the European agenda. We can share our expertise in this area with other countries. That is why I advocate quickly concluding bilateral agreements with our neighboring countries, Germany and France, as we did with the Netherlands. Since then, fraud involving vehicles imported from the Netherlands has fallen by 90% in just a few years.”


Ready to join the conversation?

You must be an active subscriber to leave a comment.

Subscribe Today

You Might Also Like