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Crashed & Damaged Vehicles

The crashed and damaged car report has been released for the month of March 2024. We hope that you are not one of the unfortunate motorists that may have been affected by the purchase of a previously crashed or damaged car.

Franchise Dealerships

In the month of March we saw a decrease from 452 vehicles written-off in February to 390 vehicles in March, which was a drop of 62. Occasionally, even main dealerships can get caught out and buy-in a used vehicle that may have been previously written-off or previously damaged in some way.

It is also a good idea to purchase a full car history check before buying any used car, even from a main dealer.  Not all car checks are the same, though. A report by another history check provider may not show any damage alert.  

Discrepancies at the main dealerships

Back in February, there were 107 vehicles that had some kind of mileage discrepancy at main dealers but in March there was very little change in the number with an decrease of just three vehicle bringing the number of cars with discrepancies to 104 vehicles. It is always a good idea to run a car check before buying from any car, whether that be a franchise dealership, trader or privately.

Independent car dealers

During February there were 510 previously damaged vehicles sold at independent garages and in March the number decreased to 422 damaged or written-off vehicles, an decrease of 88 vehicles over the previous month.

When you buy a used car, don’t just take the seller's word for the history of the vehicle. A trader may say that the car “just had a tip” but this could be code for; ‘it might have been damaged before, but I have told you just enough to cover myself and I hope it doesn’t come back on me’.  

Unscrupulous car traders are very prevalent in the used car market.  The only way to protect yourself from buying a damaged or categorised car is to get a background car check.

Discrepancies at independent dealerships

During February there were 199 vehicles, with discrepancies of some kind or another but in March there were 112 vehicles displaying a discrepancy on a history check, an decrease of 77. In some instances a mileage discrepancy cannot be resolved and so a certain number of these vehicles are found to be 'clocked' after investigation.

Private Car Sales Sector

The private car sector will normally have more problems associated with it and the biggest risk also when it comes to buying a used car. During the month of March there was 468 vehicles sold in the private sector which were previously damaged or written-off. During the month of February there were 590 vehicles that had some kind of damage. 

When you buy a car privately, there is almost zero chance of any comeback or consumer rights after you have bought the car. It is imperative then, that you run a car check before you buy from a private seller and subsequently find out that there is a big issue with the vehicle that you may regret

It should be noted that many people who sell their cars privately may very well not know anything about the full background history of the car and may themselves have bought the car from the previous owner without knowing its true history.

The owner previous to the current owner may also have not known about car checks and so a buyer in the private market runs a bigger risk than buying from a main dealer. 

Mileage discrepancies in the private car sales sector

When it came to discrepancies, though, in the private sector there was a significant increase over the previous month. In February there were 227 vehicles with some kind of discrepancy on the record but this came to 246 vehicles in March.

Don’t be one of these unfortunate car buyers. Even if you have already bought a car, it's never too late to run your car background check. It is best to do it sooner or later and even after you have purchased the vehicle just in case you need to contact the seller for quick resolution.

Thousands of cars are showing a hidden past each month, so make sure you know what you are buying. Your pre-purchase research should be second-nature as it will prove to be extremely important. Remember...

Every vehicle has a past, check if it has a future!


Justin Kavanagh
Justin Kavanagh is a recognised leader in automotive intelligence and vehicle data supply to the entire motor industry. He has almost 20 years experience in building systems from the ground up. As the Managing Director of Vehicle Management System, he understands the need and importance of trustworthy and reliable vehicle history and advice to both the trade and the public.
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