UK Has Best Record On Motor Transparency

Tue 22nd Nov 2022

Car buyers who might think they are getting a bargain by shopping abroad for their motor might be in for a huge shock according to new research.

Motoring data analyst firm carVertical has determined that Britain is the most open nation in Europe when it comes to vehicle information.

Of all the vehicles scanned by system in the UK, 21% had been damaged at some point and 14% had been clocked. The UK has the lowest percentage of imported vehicles - 10.7% - of all countries.

With 12.6% of cars clocked and 21.3% damaged, Germany ranks second in Europe. Despite being the continent's leading vehicle manufacturer, 26.8% of the nation's used cars come from abroad.

Italy has the lowest percentage of damaged cars on the index  – 16.6%. Only 11% of the cars in the country are clocked, and only 32.1% are imported.

France has the lowest number of clocked cars, at 9.6%, because fines for mileage fraud are the highest, up to ten times more expensive than some Eastern European countries. However, 28.5% of vehicles on the road are damaged, which is significant. The country imports 54% of its used vehicles, which is the highest percentage among the world's leading countries.

In the Market Transparency Index, Croatia, Czechia, Hungary, and Slovakia are positioned in the middle. These countries have high import penetration and a large proportion of damaged vehicles.

51.6% of cars in Czechia are damaged or clocked. Importing half of the used cars from abroad is what helps keep car prices down.

More than half (58.5%) of the vehicles in neighbouring Slovakia are imported. 57.7% have been damaged, and one in nine has accrued mileage.

In Croatia, the proportion of clocked vehicles is one of the lowest (10.3%), but there is a significant number of imported vehicles (69.3%) and a large proportion of damaged vehicles (56.4%). In Hungary, 52.6% of the cars are imported, 55% are damaged, and 12.7% have tampered mileage.

“The used car market in Eastern Europe started to develop only in the ‘90s, therefore, transparency is still lacking,” said the carVertical report. “Buying a second-hand vehicle in Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, or Romania is risky, and you can easily get scammed.

“For example, in Latvia, 23.6% of all vehicles checked on carVertical had a clocked mileage. 

“A high share of used car imports is one of the reasons Eastern countries are much more affected by scams. When a vehicle is bought in one country and then clocked in another, it’s hard for law enforcement to reveal such crimes.

“High import volume also correlates with a high number of damaged cars – more than half of the vehicles in Eastern Europe have been in accidents.”