New report reveals most likely brands for outstanding finance, write-offs and theft


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If you’re buying a used car, an area of concern is whether the car has been crashed, has finance outstanding on it, or has been stolen.

A new report from the UK by used vehicle checker has revealed the write-off, finance and stolen risks for its 20 most-searched makes, and rather worryingly reveals that a significant proportion of vehicles checked – 28.5% – have at least one serious warning against them. That’s an increase of 2.9% from 2015.

Write-offs are the most common serious risk, representing 33.6% of vehicles checked, though the number of cars being sold with finance outstanding on them was up significantly at 18.1% compared to 13.8% in 2015.

The report revealed that the risks differ from make to make. For the second year running, Honda was worst for write-off and Audi was worst for finance. Apart from motorbike and scooter manufacturer Yamaha, Land Rover was the most likely brand to have been stolen.

21.65% of all Honda vehicles checked returned a write-off warning, compared to a top 20 average of 17.61%. 13.9% of all Audi vehicles returned an outstanding finance warning, compared to an average of 9.32%. 2.07% of all Land Rover vehicles checked returned a stolen warning, compared to an average of 0.92%.

With UK imports into Ireland on the increase, Irish customers need to be aware of the possibility of purchasing an imported car that could be stolen, have finance owing on it or which may be repaired after an accident. Using one of the recognised vehicle checking resources such as helps to reduce that risk. Such sites use information from the police, DVLA, insurers and finance houses on every vehicle on UK roads.

Head of, Roger Powell, said: “Buying a used vehicle should be exciting, but the private marketplace especially is fraught with risks. We need to get the message out that, for a tiny percentage of the overall purchase cost, you can confirm whether the car or bike you’re looking at is stolen, has been previously written-off or has any finance debt against it.”

Serious warning data for’s 20 most-searched makes of 2016