Most damaged cars 2023: which vehicles get into accidents the most?

Karolis Bareckas

Karolis Bareckas

No car is bulletproof and they all occasionally get damaged. Be it a small scratch when parking in a tight garage or a severe accident, after which a vehicle can only be sold for parts. When damages are registered, after a while, they end up on carVertical’s history reports.

Since we process millions of reports every year, our team collected quite a pile of damaged car data. After counting all the damaged cars in 2023, we came up with extensive research on damage statistics.

Apparently, some cars are more prone to get into traffic incidents than others. Let’s explore those vehicle brands and the reasons behind their high damage rates.

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BMW cars get into accidents the most

share of damaged BMW cars
Source: carVertical

The internet is full of videos of BMW drivers speeding in the streets, not using the turn signal, and occasionally crashing into a house, tree, or other cars. No wonder BMW is at the top of the most damaged cars list of 2023 – 67.4% of all BMWs checked on carVertical by our users had minor or major damages.

In fact, BMW is the most damaged car brand across most European countries. Only Lithuania and Slovakia are exceptions, where Subaru and Hyundai take the top spots. In both of these countries, BMW ranks 2nd among the most damaged cars.

Older BMWs are especially popular among young and inexperienced drivers wanting to show off. Even insurance companies agree that BMW owners may take more risks than other drivers, therefore insuring a BMW isn’t the cheapest thing.

Of course, not every damage necessarily involves irresponsible behavior on the road. Cars damaged by hail, flood, storm, or other natural disasters are also involved in general damage statistics.

BMW is followed by Dodge (67.2%), Tesla (65.2%), Hyundai (62.2%), and Subaru (59.6%). Most of these brands produce powerful vehicles, which have higher chances of getting damaged.

On the other side of the spectrum, there’s Alfa Romeo with a modest share of 30.6% of damaged cars. Among the vehicle brands with the lowest percentage of damages, you can find economy-class car manufacturers like Fiat (30.8%), Renault (39%), and Peugeot (40%). However, there’s also Land Rover squeezed in the middle (36%), which is clearly a black sheep among these brands.

top 20 car brands with most damages, most damaged cars
source: carVertical

How many damage records in a history report are too many?

Some car brands may have more damage records than others, and there’s no limit to how many times one can harm their old vehicle. This year’s record belongs to a Volkswagen Passat with a whooping 32 damage records on its history report.

Coming back to the planet Earth, the numbers are a bit more modest. BMW again makes it to the top of the list with 2.34 damage records on average in a history report, followed by Lexus (2.27), Land Rover (2.16), Honda (2.12), and Mitsubishi (2.09).

car brands with most damage records, car brands with most damage

Statistically speaking, it’s completely normal for a vehicle to get into an accident every 5 years. However, this also depends on the annual mileage and driving habits.

Dodge vehicles get into accidents the least – an average Dodge model had 1.43 damages on carVertical report, Fiat – 1.61, Citroen – 1.64, Peugeot – 1.64, and Renault – 1.65. This only proves that every car may have damages, which should be closely inspected before buying.

Premium cars break records for the most expensive damages

vehicle brands by average damage value

When a vehicle suffers damage, insurance companies evaluate how much it will cost to restore a car to its original shape. The higher the damage value is, the more serious a vehicle’s damages may be.

Dodge cars have the highest average damage value on carVertical – €5,945, followed by Porsche (€5,236), Tesla (€4,896), Jaguar (€4,717), and Chrysler (€4,650).

When talking about premium vehicles, even a small scratch may cost thousands of euros to fix. Not to mention more serious damages. It’s a completely different story with economy-class cars, which typically have lower damage value. For example, Fiat has the average damage value of €3,330, Peugeot – €3,205, and Opel – €3,064.

Buying a car with past damages: yes or no?

After reading about damaged cars and realizing how many of them had suffered various accidents, you may be wondering, how on Earth one should pick a reliable vehicle. And should a car with past damages be ignored?

Not necessarily. If a vehicle had minor damage, such as a broken tail light or bumper, this shouldn’t cause your concern. However, you should skip cars that suffered severe accidents that may affect their safety.

Checking a car’s history report will reveal a vehicle’s past damages and their estimated repair costs. As you can see in the example below, this car had various damages throughout its lifespan. The air conditioning system, suspension, gearbox, and other components may have been broken and then repaired later.

However, this car may also have issues that will only start to show up after several months or later. That’s the worst thing with damaged cars – you don’t know if they’re repaired well and won’t cause trouble in the future. Otherwise, these kinds of vehicles can easily turn into a money pit and you won’t be able to do much about it. A faulty car will be worth less and you’ll lose money when selling it.

report damages, car report, VIN check
Source: carVertical

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Methodology

carVertical’s research examined actual car history reports acquired by our users from October 2022 to October 2023. The damages listed in reports were aggregated by car brands, analyzed, turned into percentages, and ranked. Processing millions of car history checks allows us to see trends, insights, and forecasts of used car markets across various countries.

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Karolis Bareckas

Article by

Karolis Bareckas

Karolis is an automotive writer focusing on the industry part of things. His goal is to educate readers and foster transparency in the used car market. With a passion for storytelling and extensive experience writing in a variety of fields, Karolis enjoys sharing his knowledge and spreading the word about automotive and tech topics. He’s also a a big fan of muscle cars and long road trips.