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A YEAR after warning of the explosion in used-car fraud – particularly odometer tampering – the peak Victorian dealer body has welcomed the launch by VicRoads of a product that better informs second-hand buyers about issues and aims to substantially reduce ongoing incidents of automotive crime.

VicRoads’ Vehicle Report (VVR) is being seen as an essential tool for dealers and consumers, offering detailed valuation guides, condition reports and vehicle specifications.

Importantly, it also has information about odometer readings at point of transfer and vital registration history on cars, trucks, motorcycles and trailers in Victoria.

Such a tool will also impact the issues in the private-to-private market, a market with much consumer detriment.

The Victorian Automotive Chamber of Commerce (VACC) has long lobbied for the introduction of the information for Victorian dealers and consumers.

It has already published reports of dealers identifying odometer discrepancies on vehicles presented by consumers for trade-in. By using data that will be available from the report the Chamber, last year, said 44 per cent of Victorian dealerships had reported being victims of odometer tampering fraud.

The VACC last June sent a bulletin to its 1620 dealer members warning of the greater incidence of odometer tampering as the used-car market soared.

It said odometer fraud was being carried out by members of the public both selling cars to other private motorists or selling them to dealers.

In response, the NSW government launched a program allowing car buyers to check the odometers of cars they are buying.

GoAutoNews Premium then reported that this exposed an incident in which a seller shaved 400,000km off a Subaru XV and sold it for $32,000, some $11,000 above its correct value. It was followed by a string of similar fraud cases.

“The new information for NSW buyers comes after a four-fold spike in odometer tampering over 2021 and 2022,” GoAutoNews Premium wrote in June 2023.

“NSW authorities issued $113,000 in fines and 103 penalty notices in the past two years, which represented a dramatic jump from 38 total penalties in 2019 and 2020.”

It also reported that at that time, the VACC was negotiating with VicRoads to set up a similar service in Victoria to protect its LMCT members and private-to-private sellers from fraud.

The VicRoads Vehicle Report is the result of that negotiation.

“VACC congratulates NSW for the introduction of such an initiative,” said the VACC’s industry policy advisor Michael McKenna when the NSW program was launched.

“VACC has long pushed for a similar or same introduction for the access to historical odometer data for Victorian consumers and dealers.”

Mr McKenna said that the VACC “believes it to be prudent to manage member expectations as to the likelihood of this same type of system being introduced to Victoria under a ‘no charge’ basis.

The VACC said this week that VicRoads – and the Department of Transport – is so strongly advocating for dealers to use the report to reduce the incidences of automotive crime that it has introduced special introductory pricing until November 30 this year.

Dealers have a special introductory price of just $3.87 (inclusive of GST and card fees) per report.

The VACC’s Michael McKenna said that was “a fantastic gesture by VicRoads” and one that all dealers should use. 

“After the introductory period has expired, the price per report will revert to the standard dealer rate of $9.68 (inclusive of GST and card fees) per report,” he said.

“If you are interested in learning more about this offer or have any questions about accessing the VicRoads Vehicle Report, please reach out to the VicRoads Sales Team via cpsales@vicroads.com.au. 

Michael McKenna

“The entire VicRoads Sales Team is ready to assist with any inquiries and help facilitate your access to this valuable tool.”

VicRoads advise that VicRoads Vehicle Report at a dealer price is only accessed through the Partner Portal.

To access the Vehicle Report at a reduced price dealers will be required to sign a Master Services Agreement (MSA) with VicRoads. For a copy of the MSA and to initiate this process you must contact the VicRoads Sales Team via cpsales@vicroads.com.au. 

LMCTs are asked to communicate directly with VicRoads on any issues with the MSA.

The Vehicle Registration Enquiry (VRE), which confirms basic information about a vehicle’s registration status, will continue to be available at no cost on both the VicRoads and Service Victoria websites.

VicRoads said in a statement that Victorians could now buy a second-hand vehicle with increased confidence. 

“The VicRoads Vehicle Report is the only available vehicle report that includes Victorian registration information including registration and transfer history plus information from previous roadworthy checks. 

“The Vehicle Report will arm consumers with information that can help them to make informed decisions on price and safety when buying a second-hand vehicle. 

Information that purchasers of the VicRoads Vehicle Report will be able to access before buying, include:

    • Previous roadworthy results
    • Registration and Transfer History
    • Recorded odometer readings
    • Financial liability check (including an official PPSR certificate)
    • Safety and emission ratings
    • Stolen and written off status
    • Plus a comparison feature, presenting buyers with recent sale prices for similar vehicles in the past three months.

VicRoads Registration and Licensing Services chief executive officer, Giles Thompson said: “Buying a second-hand vehicle can be a confusing experience for many Victorians. That’s why we’re delighted to launch the VicRoads Vehicle Report today. 

“VicRoads is committed to enhancing consumer confidence and safety in the second-hand vehicle market by providing them with information to assist their decision-making when purchasing a second-hand vehicle.’

‘This will ensure that customers have a more holistic picture of the vehicle’s condition, value and more importantly safety, so that they can then compare it to similar vehicles they may be looking to buy,” he said. 

The Vehicle Report will be available to customers to purchase and download via the VicRoads website for $27.65 (including GST) and will also be available to second-hand car dealers. 

The VicRoads Vehicle Report is available for cars, motorcycles, caravans, trailers and heavy vehicles.

Read more:

Thousands of ‘whizzed’ speedos revealed

Chamber urges: Report odometer criminals

Move against odometer cheats

 

By Neil Dowling

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