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IRL UK has released the damaged and crashed cars report for the month of December 2023. Let’s hope that you are not one of the unfortunate car buyers who got caught out with a previously damaged car. 

Franchise Dealerships

The month of December saw 228 vehicles written-off. This was again lower than last month when 282 vehicles were discovered to be written-off or damaged. This was a decrease of 54 vehicles compared to the month of November. 

It is always advisable to buy a used car from a main franchise dealership, but occasionally, even main franchise dealerships get caught out and sell a used vehicle that may have had previous damage or has been written-off.

It is also advisable to purchase a full car check before buying any used car from a franchise dealer and it should also be remembered that not all car history checks are the same. has more damage data and alerts than any other supplier in Ireland.

It is common that some car traders and dealerships buy a vehicle on foot of a trade report by VMS (Vehicle Management System), the parent company of, and then sell that very same vehicle to a member of the public with an inferior report from another history check supplier. That report by another history check provider may very well not show any damage alert at all on the vehicle.  

Discrepancies at the main dealerships

Main dealers had 101 vehicles for sale which were discovered to have mileage discrepancies during November. Last month, 59 vehicles had some kind of mileage discrepancy so this was a drop by 42 from the previous month. It is vital, therefore, to always run a car check before buying from any, whether that be a franchise dealership, trader or privately.

Independent car dealers

During December there were 396 previously damaged vehicles sold at independent garages. This was a slight drop from the 450 damaged or written-off vehicles in Novemberdecrease of 54 vehicles over the previous month.

It is important to remember that when you buy any used car, you should always get a car reg check. Never just take a seller's word for it. A trader may say that the car “just had a tip”. This may very well 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

As with car damage, there was also a sizable decrease in the number of cars showing mileage discrepancies during December. On sale at Independent dealers were 146 vehicles, which was down from 191 vehicles in November, a drop of 45 vehicles with some type of discrepancy displayed on the report. 

In many more instances mileage discrepancies are not resolved and are found to be 'clocked' after investigation.

Private Car Sales Sector

The private car sector is where you will normally find the biggest problems and the biggest risk. During the month of December there was just a small decrease in vehicles sold which were damaged. 

December saw 621 vehicles sold in the private sector which were previously damaged or written-off. This was a huge increase from November's figures when 393 vehicles were damaged or written-off

It is so important to remember that there is almost zero chance of any comeback or consumer rights after you have bought a car from a private seller and subsequently find out that there is an issue.

It also should be noted that many private sellers may not know anything  about car history checks and may themselves have bought the car from the previous owner without knowing its true history.

The previous owner might 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

There wasn’t much of a change in the number of discrepancies during December compared to the previous month. In December 130 vehicles were found with some kind of anomaly on the mileage record. This was a drop of 74 vehicles over November, when 204 vehicles were sold privately with discrepancies.

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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