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Polish imported and damaged cars – what is wrong with them?

28 February 2023

Damaged cars are usually the bodywork, lights or perhaps air conditioning? – autoDNA checks which parts are damaged most often in the case of used cars originating from the Polish domestic turnover as well as the ones imported to Poland. 

Used cars available in Poland come from two sources – as part of the domestic cars that have previously left one of the dealerships in the country, and import, mainly from Germany. According to its data for 2022, autoDNA, a service offering vehicle history based on a VIN number, checked what damage both groups of cars most often had.


Domestic (Polish) cars and their damage

Vehicles whose first registration was in Poland had the elements of the external body most often damaged. As many as 41% of all cars with damage checked by autoDNA in 2022 had various types of damage to bodywork as a result of collisions. In as many as 15% of cases, the reports showed defects in exterior lights. A malfunctioning light or a broken headlight was the second most popular reason for damage to cars of domestic origin. The third were the bodywork structural elements, which indicates participation in serious collisions. 



Other elements of the car that were damaged were the windows, the suspension system as well as the cooling and air conditioning system, which, in the case of used cars, might already be heavily exploited.


Very rarely there were cases of damage to the upholstery,steering system, passive safety system, as well as ancillaries, transmission and drive train, and active safety system and braking system. The electrical system present in hybrid and electric vehicles accounted for just 0.01% of all damage recorded in the reports generated in 2022. However, this result is influenced by the relatively low supply of this type of vehicles.


Imported cars (to Poland) and their damage

Imported cars were slightly more likely to have damaged exterior lighting, suspension system and bodywork structural elements (e.g. pillars, side members, beams) compared to domestic cars, which is due to the fact that a large number of imported cars were the post-accident ones. Slightly less frequently damaged (35% instead of 41% for domestic cars) were the external bodywork elements and windows (9.5% against 10% for domestic cars). The structure of import can also be seen through the damage to the electrical system for cars with this type of drive – there were three times more of them in percentage terms than for similar vehicles of Polish origin. This is due to the high popularity of hybrid cars. Damage to ancillaries, upholstery, steering system and passive safety system was also much more common for the imported cars than for the domestic ones.


which elements in used cars are damaged most often

What to look out for when buying a used car?

It is worth noting that both domestic and imported cars mostly have damage to one of four categories: external bodywork, external lighting, bodywork structural elements and windows. These components are particularly susceptible to damage in the event of accidents. However, other defects, including mechanical defects related to ancillaries, cooling and air conditioning systems and suspension, should not be underestimated. Repairing these types of damage can be very expensive. If the car has already been repaired, it is worth checking whether it was done in a professional way. By this you can avoid unplanned expenses after buying a used car.


It is good to know

When buying and selling a vehicle, it is always worth free VIN lookup using the autoDNA vehicle history report, the market-leading provider of the VIN decoding tool. The VIN number is sufficient to check, among others, damage to the vehicle, including total loss, collisions, recorded odometer readings, and archive photos. VIN check is simple, quick and can save you from the huge expenses associated with the purchase of a lemon-car.




Selling a damaged car involves several steps. First, assess the damage and determine the car's value. Next, gather all necessary paperwork such as the title and service records. Then, advertise the car honestly and transparently, highlighting any valuable parts or features. Finally, negotiate a fair price and finalize the sale.

Accident-damaged cars can be sold in a variety of places. Online platforms are a popular choice, as they reach a wide audience. Salvage yards may also be interested, especially if the car has valuable parts. Additionally, some car rebuilders may be interested in repairing and reselling the car.

Hail damaged cars can often be found at auctions, both in-person and online. These cars may also be sold directly by owners, particularly in areas prone to hail storms. Always inspect the car thoroughly before buying to understand the extent of the damage.

Buying insurance damaged cars can be a complex process. It's important to understand the type and extent of the damage, as well as the cost of repairs. Always inspect the car thoroughly, ideally with a trusted mechanic. Additionally, understand the legal and insurance implications of buying a damaged car.

Avoiding flood-damaged cars involves careful inspection and research. Check for signs of water damage, such as rust, mold, or a musty smell. Use a vehicle history report to check for flood damage, and have the car inspected by a trusted mechanic. Always be wary of deals that seem too good to be true.

Polish imported and damaged cars – what is wrong with them?
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Polish imported and damaged cars – what is wrong with them?
Damaged cars are usually the bodywork, lights or perhaps air conditioning? - autoDNA checks which parts are damaged most often in the case of used cars.
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