Fleet News

Updated: Removal of previous keeper information from V5 ‘could lead to fraud’

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.

However, the Government Agency has told Fleet News that "there is no reason" why the changes it has introduced should inrease the risk of any wrongdoing. 

The change to the existing format of the V5c document, made by the DVLA with immediate effect, sees the removal of previous keeper details.

The DVLA has made the move to protect consumers’ personal data, as part of its commitment to the new GDPR legislation, 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, claims Cap HPI.

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, it said.

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

It claims 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: “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.”

However, a DVLA spokesman told Fleet News: "We have made changes to the way we release previous keeper details from our records – only releasing information where there is evidence that it is needed for a legal reason.

"In line with these changes we reviewed the process of automatically including the previous keeper details on every V5C, or log book, when we send it to the new keeper.

"There is no reason why removing the previous keeper from the V5C should result in an increase in fraud involving used vehicles.

"The law allows the DVLA to provide previous keeper details in order to assist mileage companies to investigate where mileage fraud is suspected. This process has not changed with the removal of the previous keeper details from the V5C.”

Mileage data is recorded when a vehicle undergoes a MOT, the spokesman explained. This information can be obtained by checking the MOT status of a car on www.gov.uk/check-mot-history.

He continued: "We believe the processes in place strike the correct balance between protecting the personal data of our customers while maintaining the availability of information about vehicles to those with a legitimate right to receive it."

Cap HPI is updating the input screens based on the style of V5c applicable to that vehicle. It means only those fields which can be completed as per the information supplied by the DVLA will be shown based on the V5c issue date.

It will also add all keeper disposal dates to the HPI Check to allow buyers to make a more informed buying decision. 

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  • Gordy - 04/07/2018 13:51

    So how do we get DVLA to reverse this decision whilst maintaining data protection? Previous keepers are a fact of life. Draconian and Ill-conceived changes like this are a change for the worse and play into the hands of criminals and organised crime. DVLA, change back now please.

  • Charlottehenderson - 18/12/2018 12:36

    Yes, I hope DVLA's decision to remove keepers information is correct because I read in a website that a crime has happened by knowing the previous owner's name and address. I did my free car history check at caranalytics for free else I would have been a victim of mileage clocking.

  • Petethepedal - 05/10/2019 16:18

    When buying a car from a trader or dealer it would be reassuring to contact the previous owner to get a feel of how the car was for them. For example, was it reliable or was it always having work done on it. Did the previous owner have any bumps that were repaired outside of the car insurance. You could also double check the mileage with them.

  • Kevin Tompson - 06/12/2019 20:57

    I am having same sort of trouble with no help from the dvla I purchased a car from a ford dealer being told it was a ex demo but the things i am finding rong with this car leads me to think there as been another owner but dvla have been no help in the matter it seems that the law is on garages part.

  • Linda Paeleman - 18/12/2019 10:05

    This is a very informative article. This blog clearly explain about Driver Vehicle Licencing Agency.

  • Batman - 16/01/2020 19:47

    "So how do we get DVLA to reverse this decision whilst maintaining data protection?" It tells you in the article, it will only be done for certain legal reasons. "When buying a car from a trader or dealer it would be reassuring to contact the previous owner to get a feel of how the car was for them. For example, was it reliable or was it always having work done on it" That's what a service history is for.

  • Katty Smith - 28/04/2020 11:40

    This is a very informative article. This article can be helpful for the buyer to get the keeper history for a used car.

  • Mac - 23/10/2020 06:15

    I have just purchased a scooter from a local dealer. It was 6 months old with a mere 65 miles on the clock. The scooter has been back to the dealer and has spent 5 days there. I could have bought a brand new scooter for around £200.00 more but decided to purchase from my local dealer. When I received the V5 yesterday I was horrified to learn it had already had two previous owners, which was NOT relayed to me by the dealer. i am frustrated that I cannot explore any of its history due to the lack of previous owners now being removed from the V5. there is no way I would have considered a 6 month old scooter with 2 previous owners. This was NOT pointed out by the dealer.

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