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Cars from Europe: what should be checked before buying it?

World automotive market

There is a shortage of both new and "freshly driven" used cars on the Ukrainian market. In particular, if we talk about passenger cars with mileage, the supply of imported cars is now at least half less than the demand. Increasingly, Ukrainian buyers are looking for reliable ways to order a "turnkey car from Europe" in order to get a car that did not run on our roads, was filled with high-quality fuel, regularly inspected and serviced at branded service stations.

However, despite a number of advantages of "fresh" cars, there are some points that you should pay attention to when looking for a car in one of the European countries. It happens that not everything is completely transparent there, despite the stricter rules for the protection of buyers and high liability for fraud, including for "twisting" mileage.

This time we will look at the Czech car market, of course — based only on facts and figures. During the past year of 2023, 671,000 used cars were sold there (for comparison, 956,000 in Ukraine), and 154,000 imported from other countries were counted by analysts of CEBIA , a service that provides access to the history of millions of cars in Europe. Again, for comparison, 221,000 "freshly recruited" people arrived in Ukraine last year. But this is when the population of the Czech Republic is 10.5 million people, while in Ukraine, according to the Institute of Demography and Social Research, as of 2023, the population was from 28 to 34 million.

There is another important difference in the secondary market: the average price of a passenger car with mileage in the Czech Republic in 2023 was $13,100, in Ukraine it was $8,800. The average age (in general for the secondary market) in the Czech Republic was 9.5 years, in Ukraine it was 14, 8 years old That is, they buy more, somewhat newer and more expensive cars there. Therefore, the market itself should be of higher quality in all dimensions. But is this a sign that you can buy cars there "blindly"?

In the Czech Republic, passenger cars from Germany have a special value on the market — about 19% of them. At the same time , every fifth car marked in the ad as "imported" from Germany actually had a different origin, which the sellers could even "confirm" with forged documents.

In general, for every fourth car, the sellers did not indicate the origin in the ads. This is a non-transparent practice — because the buyer needs to know where the car came from, since different countries have their own operating characteristics (for example, cold maritime climate, mountainous terrain, aggressive winter road reagents, tight parking lots, etc.). Therefore, it is important to check the history of the vehicle with CEBIA.

Mileage: the average value on the odometers of Czech used cars is 146,000 km. In Ukraine — 225,000 km. Of course, not all cars on the market are average, and some smart people buy cheaper cars with high mileage in order to "rewind" it and sell such a product at a higher price. In practice, as was discovered during mileage history checks by CEBIA specialists, mostly fraud with odometers took place on cars of foreign (as for the Czech Republic) production, and last year on average about 100 thousand kilometers were "twisted" on one car. This made it possible to increase its price by 20%.

First-hand. Buying a car from the first owner is a good bonus. During 2023, there were 48% of ads with such machines in the Czech Republic. However, in fact, in two out of three cases, this was misleading information, which, if the buyer did not check the real history of the car, allowed to earn an additional 5% on its price.

road accident During the past year, 99.4% of the ads for the sale of cars in the Czech Republic had a mark that the car had not been in an accident before. In reality, the picture is completely different: 60% of cars had various types of damage in the past, which the sellers "forgot" to report. And this type of fraud (covering up accidents) is the most profitable of all.

So, using the example of one of the European car markets, we have made sure that vigilance when choosing a car from abroad will never hurt. And it is not only about the Czech Republic — it is worth checking cars from any country, so as not to come across "twisted" mileage, restored "battery" or other traps that are often found in Europe. And itʼs good that itʼs easy to find out the truth now — just go to the CEBIA pageand enter the data of the desired car.

By the way, CEBIA is the only service that performs a preliminary check based on the VIN code for free, and only when it is known for sure that there is enough data about the car, the service can be paid for.

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