Although the offer of used cars here is very decent, many people look for used cars abroad as well. The most popular place is the German market, where there is a significantly higher offer of both ordinary cars and exclusive ones, which are difficult to find on the Czech market, or their offer is very limited.
Many specialists and companies deal with car imports and their inspection. For example, the company Carvago, which is a large online marketplace for used cars, has checked more than 30,000 cars for Czech buyers during its existence and has now published interesting data about the condition of used cars from Germany (and other European markets) and where he finds the best and where, on the contrary, the worst. Carvago focuses on careful pre-purchase inspection of vehicles, uses tools such as Cebia, databases of insurance companies and stolen vehicles. Unlike individual importers, Carvago offers its customers the certainty of a guarantee from the Czech company, which includes full responsibility for the condition of the recommended vehicles.
According to Carvago’s analysis, the best cars are from the west and north-west of Germany, from Berlin, Hamburg and Bremen. That is, mostly further from our borders. On the contrary, the worst situation is near the Czech borders, especially in Saxony and Thuringia. But even Bavaria and Brandenburg are not in a glorious position. Of course, we can only speculate if it is, for example, that some dealers send “worse” cars closer to the borders of Eastern Europe, where they are easier to sell.
According to Carvago, the majority of Czech buyers are still looking for cars from Germany, due to the overall good reputation of the local market, a wide range of offers and especially easy availability. German cars are often closer to interested parties at the border than on the other side of the Czech Republic. Germans also usually get rid of their cars earlier than Czechs. “While Czechs get rid of their new cars around one hundred thousand kilometers, Germans do so on average around sixty thousand kilometers,” says Marek Dvořák, head of car buying at Carvago.
However, the condition of used cars in Germany is said to be gradually deteriorating in recent years and it can no longer be considered as premium a market as before. “Our long-term average of non-recommended cars from Germany is in the ratio of 4:1, but this year we have already reached a ratio of 2:1 in some months, meaning that we recommend two and not one. This, of course, also has an impact on the quality of the domestic used car market. Our inspections in Sweden and surprisingly, for example, Romania, have significantly better results. The market there is known for turning tachometers, but this mainly applies to cheap cars and older premium cars. You can buy used cars in Romania in excellent condition and at a better price,” explains Marek Dvořák from Carvago.
Among the most common problems with German used cars are unprofessional damage repairs, either after defects or accidents. Many cars also have excessively worn interiors and cosmetic defects, which may indicate that the car has been used in a rental or ride-sharing service, for example. However, it is also necessary to draw attention to the risks of tachometers turning, which is particularly dangerous for cars from operational leases with a contractually limited annual mileage. We just remind you that roughly a third of German used cars can be twisted. According to Carvago, however, the number of cars with serious technical defects, whose repairs are very expensive, is also increasing. This is also why when importing used vehicles from abroad, a thorough technical inspection of the vehicle, ideally by an independent technician, is essential.
Even large used car dealers in our country avoid individual imports. “If car dealerships buy abroad, they use their own resources, including foreign auctions,” says Filip Kučera from Auto ESA. According to him, however, the era of individual imports or small importers in the form of “resellers” in bazaars has long since ended.
“The range of used cars on the Czech market is so large that the individual import of common models is not worth it, regardless of the lack of guarantees and possible claims,” adds Kučera. In the case of the origin of vehicles imported from abroad sold in car dealerships, however, Germany clearly leads, mainly because of the still high quality of cars compared to other markets. “Cars from Germany also tend to be better equipped, better maintained and driven on quality roads. Nordic countries tend to be interesting for the quality of vehicles, but with a limited offer and higher logistics costs,” explains Kučera from Auto ESA.