V5 logbook changes could increase fraud, says CAP HPI

V5 Logbook

Previous keepers’ details will no longer be included

The DVLA’s decision to remove information from V5 log books could lead to an increase in fraud on used vehicles, according to Cap HPI. The change to the existing format of the V5c document sees the complete removal of previous keeper details.

The DVLA has made the move to protect consumers’ personal data but, the knock-on effect could also have a direct financial impact on the dealer network and, potentially, wider repercussions on the automotive industry as a whole.

Dealers follow a due diligence process before purchase when conducting a mileage investigation in order to ensure they avoid buying a vehicle with a tampered odometer. It reduces the dealer’s exposure to financial risk and helps protect their public reputation.

The change has many impacts on the way in which a mileage investigation is conducted as part of a HPI check or comprehensive manufacturer approved check.

The positive knock-on effect is that this helps the entire industry to reduce vehicle fraud.

The DVLA’s move to limit previous keeper information on the V5c to only the current keeper means that where a full mileage investigation is required, Cap HPI and all other suppliers to the industry must now contact DVLA for the previous keeper details as part of the investigation process, a process for which the DVLA makes a charge.

Existing V5c documents are unaffected until they are updated and re-issued by DVLA, at which point the previous details are then removed.

Cap HPI believes this now opens up the market to a higher risk of fraud. The company’s HPI Check data has identified one in 16 vehicles have a mileage discrepancy, a one in three chance of uncovering a hidden problem and one in five cars has had a plate change.

Wendy Swaine, head of retail at Cap HPI, said: “With so many clocked vehicles on the road in the secondhand market, it’s important to undergo an investigation before purchasing.

“We appreciate the DVLA will be mindful of more stringent data protection legislation recently introduced. However, the change has many impacts on the way in which a mileage investigation is conducted as part of a HPI check or comprehensive manufacturer approved check. This change could have broader implications for the dealer network.

“With the potential of increased cost to dealers, there is a risk that some may opt to forego a mileage investigation, opening themselves up to accidentally making a risky purchase and then potentially being hit by the reputational damage to their business when the fraud is uncovered.

“It’s potentially a double whammy for dealers, the industry and the consumer, which is why we are urging the DVLA to look at the wider ramifications.”