ReDrive 2021: carVertical’s year in numbers

Tadas Švenčionis

Tadas Švenčionis

Despite how dull 2021 seemed for many, the world and all its people didn’t actually hit the brakes.

As a matter of fact, this year has been very eventful for everyone here at carVertical. We grew our product and scope, improving the used car market for everyone. And as we grew, we learned a lot about how people use cars.

So here’s our little annual breakdown – let’s have another drive through 2021 and see what adventures you and your car had. More importantly, let’s see what nasty things happened to your machine in the process!

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Clockers amaze us – congrats to them on inventing time-travel! Did you know that in 2021:

Car sellers, dishonest car sellers,
Source: carVertical

Yes. And there was no Dolorean involved!

We must admit – it’s nice to have some stability. And one thing that hasn’t changed in 2021 is odometer fraud being extremely common.

According to the car history reports we’ve generated throughout the year, mileage rollbacks are among the most common ways car buyers get scammed. To be more specific, an insane 18.5% of all reports this year showed signs of odometer tampering.

In pure numbers, that’s 7,112,444,874 km rolled back across all the vehicles we checked. Pretty impressive!

However, to paraphrase one really unpleasant dude, “1 dead car is a tragedy, 1 million dead cars is a statistic.” So take a look at this particular record-breaker: a severely tired Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

carVertical statistics
Source: carVertical

This absolute beast had the highest mileage we saw in 2021 – 845,033 km. Yet it also had the highest mileage decrease, going down to 259,843 km. That difference is way more than any car should live to see!

Fortunately, whoever bought the report won’t become the owner of this Mercedes-shaped zombie. We hope.

BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, VW Passat & Golf, Mercedes-Benz E-Class – all good choices…

which car scored the most "points" this season
Source: carVertical

Who doesn’t like BMW and Audi’s signature sporty sedans – the 3 Series and the A4? And who doesn’t recognize how reasonable it is to get a VW Passat?

We don’t know the answer to those questions, but we do know that these 3 car models are the most popular based on our data. Combined, they account for 13% of all the cars you checked. While they’re all very close, the BMW 3 Series is still the king with 5% of the total count.

Here’s what the top 15 looks like:

  1. BMW 3 Series
  2. VW Passat
  3. Audi A4
  4. BMW 5 Series
  5. VW Golf
  6. Audi A6
  7. Škoda Octavia
  8. Mercedes-Benz E-Class
  9. Opel Astra
  10. Mercedes-Benz C-Class
  11. Ford Focus
  12. Audi A3
  13. BMW X5
  14. Škoda Superb
  15. BMW 1 Series

If we count VW’s Electric E-Golf as a regular Golf, this puts the German hatch-back at #3 overall.

At #17, Renault Megane is the most popular French car, whereas the Nissan Qashqai (#23) is the most popular Japanese automotive product in our spotlight.

The Hyundai Tucson, way down at #65, seems to be Europe’s South Korean used car of choice. Despite their reliability and decent price, Korean cars have yet to earn their due, at least when it comes to carVertical reports.

There are LOTS of damaged cars on the market! Here’s a scary stat:

damaged cars on the market
Source: carVertical

But let’s investigate something else…

In Eastern European news stories, the character of the “BMW driver” is similar to America’s notorious “Florida man.” He (or she) causes damage as a matter of course! Naturally, we wanted to confirm or deny this perception using hard data.

So, here are the top 20 car makers by report count. The percentages indicate what proportion of the cars we checked had been damaged:

The lead is significant – this looks good for BMW haters. After taking a closer peek, however, we had a theory:

BMWs age better, and therefore have more time to accrue damage.

So we checked it out. The first part of the hypothesis seems to be true – there are indeed more old BMWs than almost any other car. 40.38% of the BMWs you checked in 2021 were manufactured between 1990 and 2010.

Meanwhile, for VW and Audi, those numbers are only 14.56% and 19.97%. And the percentage of older cars falls even lower for a maker like Citroën – only 10.92%.

Sadly, the theory crumbles beyond this point. In fact, only counting newer vehicles makes BMW look worse. As many as 52.06% of BMWs built after 2010 are damaged!

To summarize:

52.06% of BMWs built after 2010 are damaged!
Source: carVertical

…Beware! And get a car history check before buying!

But enough about that – it’s time for an ode to Škoda Octavias. And one seller in particular:

Škoda Octavias stats
Source: carVertical


Not only is this car stolen – it’s also been in some pretty bad accidents (totalling between 15,000-20,000 EUR in damages), and it’s had a pretty significant mileage decrease in 2011 (the mileage went down by almost 60,000 km).

This one instance demonstrates 3 different reasons we urge users to get a history report. And guess what – who’s to say this car hasn’t served its time as a taxi as well? After all, the Octavia is a deeply sensible purchase.

But let’s talk more about thieves.

Yes, in 2021, thieves continued to steal, shady sellers continued to offer cars provisioned by their buddies – the thieves – and we continued sabotaging these sales. Last year, we generated 672 reports for cars marked “stolen.”

That’s a drop in the ocean of misplaced cars, to be sure. But it’s our drop, and we’re proud of it.

And who’s the boss of this sample? You guessed it: at 38 stolen units, it’s none other than the Škoda Octavia.

Going on our reports, your Octavia is 3.75 times more likely to get stolen than your neighbour’s BMW 3 Series!

So that’s our New Years’ gift to you, Škoda owners – a slice of pride with a pinch of paranoia.

To conclude, now you know more about 2021

What your next will be
Source: carVertical

Will it be a wild BMW?

A convenient and popular VW?

Or perhaps that infamous Grand Theft Auto queen – the Škoda Octavia?

Whichever you end up choosing, make the most of it by getting a carVertical report. It takes approx. 64 seconds – a lot less than you’ll spend at your mechanics’ if you buy from this guy:

True story
Source: carVertical

Drive safer and cheaper in 2022!

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Tadas Švenčionis

Article by

Tadas Švenčionis

Tadas is the Editor in Chief of the carVertical Blog. A fan of all things automotive and tech, he makes a point of making complex topics simple and engaging – after all, what good is a story no one understands? Tadas spends his free days reading, gaming, and bringing music no one’s asked for to Vilnius, Lithuania.