A high price tag is no guarantee of a clear history for a used car, according to data from Mycarcheck.com.
Of all the cars it checked last year, BMWs were 21% more likely to have a warning against them than Fords, despite being, on average, around £10,000 more expensive.
Some of the fastest-rising risks are the most serious, said Gavin Amos, head of valuation services at Mycarcheck.com.
Write-offs were up from 29% of all warnings in 2015 to 33.6% last year, while finance was up from 13.8% to 18.1%.
“People presume that more expensive cars must be a safer bet, but our data busts this myth,” he said.
“They can actually be much higher risk, for example, for outstanding finance or plate transfer. Whether you’re spending a few hundred pounds or tens of thousands, investing a tiny percentage of that to check if it is stolen, previously written-off or has debt against it is surely a no-brainer.”
Mycarcheck.com uses information from the police, DVLA, insurers and finance houses, to hold data on every vehicle on UK roads.
Most vehicles checked by Mycarcheck.com last year, average value and percentage with warnings