Transport MEPs call for new legislation to tackle mileage reading fraud 

  • Used cars’ mileage reading data should be easily accessible across borders
  • Mileage readings should be registered more frequently to better identify manipulation
  • Car companies need to boost tamper-protection
  • EU countries should make odometer manipulation a criminal offence

To tackle odometer fraud in used cars more effectively, the Commission should propose new legislation within twelve months, say MEPs

“About 5 to 12 percent of used cars in national sales and 30 to 50 percent of cars sold cross-border in the EU have a manipulated odometer, said rapporteur Ismail Ertug (S&D, DE). “There was broad agreement among me and my colleagues on this report and in particular on the need for national odometer databases with cross-border data exchange and for manufacturers to step up their efforts on odometer security.”


“If the Commission turns our recommendations into legislative proposals, it could provide an annual benefit of six to nine billion euros and restore consumers' trust in the second hand car market while also contributing to road safety,” he added.


In a draft resolution voted in the Transport and Tourism Committee on Wednesday, MEPs want the Commission to present a new legislative framework that includes national registers for collecting mileage data, which are accessible across-borders.  Buyers of a second-hand car should be able to verify the accuracy of its odometer reading, regardless of the EU country in which it was previously registered, they add.


EUCARIS, the European car and driving license information system, could be used as a cost-effective solution for the exchange of odometer readings across the EU.


More frequent registration of mileage data to identify fraud


Recording of odometer readings should be required from periodic technical inspections, from each inspection, service, maintenance operation and repair carried out, and from other garage visits, starting with the vehicle’s first registration, MEPs say.


They point to the experience in Belgium and the Netherlands, where readings are collected more frequently, which has almost eradicated odometer fraud in these countries.


Further efforts by the car industry needed


MEPs welcome car companies’ efforts to develop safeguards against odometer tampering but also call them to further improve the technical solutions. MEPs also ask the Commission to monitor how manufacturers implement tamper-protection strategies required by current EU rules and to set clear criteria for effectively checking that odometers are tamper-proof.


Odometer manipulation should be made a criminal offence


Even though tampering has a negative impact on road safety, only six EU countries recognise odometer manipulation as a criminal offence, MEPs say, and call on all EU countries to do so.


Next steps


The draft resolution now needs to be voted by the full house of the European Parliament. Following the adoption of the legislative initiative resolution in the European Parliament, the EU Commission will have to table a legislative proposal or justify why it has not done so.

Disclaimer: this is an informal message intended to help journalists covering the work of the European Parliament. It is neither an official press release nor a comprehensive record of proceedings.