Thinking of buying a late model used car? Like most consumers, it’s a smart idea to check the vehicle out for signs of former accident damage. A quick title-search can eliminate salvage, flood, and other insurance write-offs, but dealing with run of the mill fender-benders can be more complicated.
In reality there’s two types of accidents:
(1) Reported Accidents. These accidents are typically reported by an insurance agency or body shop. A vehicle history report (offered typically by Autocheck or Carfax most commonly) is a good starting point to find cars with reported accidents.
(2) Unreported Accidents: While history reports can capture a great deal of information – they never substitute for an on-site inspection. Oftentimes accidents go unreported to major insurance agencies and therefore never show up on a Carfax or Autocheck report. So to go one step further – we examined cars with the highest percent of unreported accidents (where visible paintwork or damage was highlighted by an inspector, but un-flagged by a vehicle history report).
Combining the two (reported, and unreported) we found the cars with the highest reported accidents.
|Make||Model||% of Reported Accidents||% of Unreported Accidents||% of Accidents|
We examined over 2.4 million vehicles 2009 and newer in wholesale and retail markets to find which cars had the highest percentage of reported accidents. We used Experian Autocheck to examine whether the vehicle had a reported accident. To identify an unreported accident we used auction condition reports which showed more than 1 metal body panel with signs of paintwork but where the Autocheck report did not show an accident (hence why its referred to as an unreported accident).