Research: The most surprising used car market facts of 2023

Karolis Bareckas

Karolis Bareckas

A year is a long time in the used car market. Can you imagine how many damaged cars, rolled back kilometers, and stolen vehicles carVertical saw over the last 12 months?

Our team has looked at the stats from 26 countries and hand-picked the most interesting automotive facts of 2023. From popular vehicle colors to mileage fraud statistics – here's a glance at the current situation in the second-hand car market.

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carVertical's 2023 in numbers

  • €250,000 – the highest damage value recorded on carVertical (Lamborghini Huracan).
  • €4.4 billion – the total damages aggregated in our history reports.
  • 48.4% – the share of damaged BMWs.
  • 7.7 billion – the total number of clocked kilometers.
  • 7.5% – the share of clocked cars.
  • 450,000 km – the biggest mileage rollback seen on carVertical.
  • 29.6% – the percentage of black cars.
  • 14.7% – the share of the most checked car brand on the platform (BMW).
carVertical's 2023 in numbers
Source: carVertical

Half of BMW cars had been damaged in the past

In 2023, 1.78 million damage events were spotted on carVertical, up from 1.4 million in the previous year.

The highest damage value belongs to a Lamborghini Huracan, which suffered damages worth €250,000. It was not a good year for Lamborghini owners, as an Aventador took the 2nd place with €218,126 in damages. These Lamborghinis are followed by a Porsche GT3, which had damages worth €202,975.

The total value of damages of all vehicles checked on carVertical in 2023 exceeds €4.4 billion. In 2022, this number was €5.1 billion.

Unsurprisingly, BMW is the most damaged brand on the platform, with 48.4% of all checked cars having damage records. Audi (43.9%), Skoda (43.7%), Dacia (43.5%), and Lexus (42.4%) are not very far behind. On average, 39.3% of all used vehicles checked on the platform had been damaged, suggesting that the chances of buying a car with hidden issues are pretty high.

share of damaged cars by manufacturer
Source: carVertical

Premium-class German cars seem to attract thieves the most

Every year, many stolen vehicles are spotted on carVertical. Of course, this isn’t to say anything about the actual number of stolen cars – they rarely make it to the used vehicle market. Mostly, they’re disassembled and sold for parts.

BMW cars are the most desired among thieves, with 17.7% of all stolen vehicles checked belonging to this German manufacturer. Mercedes-Benz (15.3%) and Audi (12%) models also attract wrongdoers, so premium vehicle owners should be cautious. We also spotted some stolen Ford (6.1%) and Volkswagen (5.4%) vehicles.

Most stolen cars were manufactured between 2016 and 2019 – 5-7 year old vehicles are highly desired in the used car market. Most of the stolen cars were produced in 2016 – 12.4%. However, this doesn’t mean that people owning older cars should be careless – thieves target vehicles of any age.

car theft statistics
Source: carVertical

7.5% of all cars had been clocked

Of all vehicles checked on carVertical in 2023, 7.5% had been clocked. This means that 1 out of 12 cars in the market may have an altered odometer, costing buyers and governments billions in fees, repair costs, and taxes.

In total, we recorded 7.7 billion clocked kilometers – a slight increase from 7.4 billion in the previous year. For reference, the distance from Earth to Pluto is only around 5.4 billion kilometers.

The biggest mileage rollback of the year belongs to one particular Volvo V70 – its mileage was “improved” by a staggering 450,000 kilometers. It had definitely been around the block a few times! However, no one was able to beat the Toyota Rav 4 with 993,000 km on the odometer. At the moment of writing the article, this car has probably already passed the 1,000,000 km mark – an impressive number for any machine.

Certain vehicle brands are more susceptible to mileage fraud. 14.3% of all Opel cars had been clocked, making it the most risky brand. Opel is followed by Jeep (12.8%), Land Rover (11.4%), Lexus (10.8%), and Porsche (10.5%).

cars with clocked mileage
Source: carVertical

Mileage rollbacks become more prevalent as cars get older. 13.8% of all cars manufactured in 1995 had a clocked mileage, making this the riskiest model year to buy. Cars manufactured between 2012 and 2016 also see a lot of odometer tampering (their clocking rates are around 11%).

cars clocked by year
Source: carVertical

The Volkswagen Golf was the most checked car in 2023

When it comes to the favorite vehicles by carVertical users, BMW takes the crown with a share of 14.7%. This means 1 out 7 cars checked belonged to this manufacturer. Volkswagen (14.3%), Audi (11.9%), Mercedes-Benz (8.4%), and Ford (5%) are also popular choices.

most checked car brands on carVertical in 2023
Source: carVertical

The most desired model on carVertical in 2023 was the Volkswagen Golf (accountable for 4.91% of all history checks). The BMW 3 Series (4.89%), Volkswagen Passat (3.8%), BMW 5 Series (3.7%), and Audi A4 (3.5%) are also popular among used car buyers.

most checked models
Source: carVertical

While drivers have different car color preferences, black (29.6%), gray (26.6%), and white (18.8%) have dominated the market. The share of extravagant colors like green, purple, or yellow rarely exceeds 1%.


The study analyzed information from 26 different countries: the UK, USA, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Hungary, Romania, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Poland, Bulgaria, Serbia, Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark, Finland, Australia, and Mexico. All facts are based on data from our vehicle history reports.

Don’t want to end up in these statistics? Check a car’s history with carVertical

Behind every statistic in this article, there may be a car in bad condition, and an unsuspecting buyer ready to buy it. It doesn’t have to be like this!

Checking a car’s history may reveal mileage discrepancies, damages, theft records, and more. This helps you decide whether a vehicle you’re interested in is actually worth the bargain. If a car has suffered severe damage in the past or its mileage has been altered by thousands of kilometers, it’s best to walk away.

You can check as many cars on carVertical as you need, exclude the ones in bad condition and only test-drive those with a clean history.

odometer rollback
Source: carVertical

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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.