Practical Support for Used Car Buyers – Now Including Mileage over 150,000 km

More added value for potential car buyers: The DEKRA Used Car Report 2018 is the first to include mileages up to 200,000 km in its vehicle classes. “In doing so, we are offering specific assistance for an area of the used car market that we did not previously cover,” says Jann Fehlauer, Head of Vehicle Inspections at DEKRA Automobil GmbH, who presented the report today in Stuttgart. “Our report contains detailed statistical information on typical faults found during roadworthiness tests of a total of 522 vehicle models. Each model is compared with other models from the same market segment,” he explains. Once again, the Audi A6 retained its title as “Best of All Classes.”

  • Evaluation of typical faults in 522 vehicle models
  • Owner-related faults (such as worn tires) not included
  • Results available online and as an app

In addition to the traditional three mileage ranges – 0 to 50,000, 50,001 to 100,000, and 100,001 to 150,000 km – the 2018 report also evaluates cars with mileage of 150,001 to 200,000 km. “Our report thus provides a more precise picture of the used car market. Vehicles in this high mileage range are still extremely relevant to the used car market,” explains Fehlauer. For example, more than 10% of all vehicles available on, the leading German online vehicle market, in December 2017 had a mileage of between 150,000 and 200,000 km. A good 8% had an even higher mileage. “In light of this, our 2018 report offers valuable additional information for anyone interested in used cars of this type.”

For ten years now, the DEKRA Used Car Report has evaluated cars based on their mileage rather than their age – and for good reason. “In our opinion, mileage has much more of an effect on a vehicle’s susceptibility to faults than its age alone,” says Fehlauer.

To compile their used car report, the DEKRA experts once again evaluated the faults found in around 15 million roadworthiness tests over two years. Only those faults that are relevant for evaluating vehicle models were included in the statistics. Defects typically caused by the owner – such as worn-down tire treads and wiper blades – are not included. To ensure that the report’s statistics are conclusive, information is only included for vehicle models for which the DEKRA inspection engineers have checked at least 1,000 vehicles within the relevant mileage range over the evaluation period.

Vehicle classes and the DEKRA Fault Index (DFI)

To help potential buyers make effective comparisons, the models are divided into nine vehicle classes from small cars through to vans. The results are compared with the average for the vehicle class. “Car buyers generally choose between models in a particular segment – not between a family hatchback and a sports car, for example,” says the Head of Vehicle Inspections at DEKRA Automobil GmbH.

The DEKRA Fault Index (DFI) remains the key figure for the evaluation. It is calculated from the proportion of vehicles without relevant faults and the vehicles for which all inspected examples of a model were found to have significant faults. The result for each vehicle model is then compared with the average value for the relevant vehicle class.

Vehicle class winners and “Best of All Classes”

In the DEKRA Used Car Report 2018, the winner in each vehicle class is once again the vehicle model in the mileage ranges from 0 to 150,000 km with the best average in the DEKRA Fault Index.

A class can only be won by a vehicle that is represented in these three mileage ranges.

2018 winners for the nine vehicle classes – an overview:
Vehicle class (Number of models in report) | Winner(Model year) | DFI

  • Minis / small cars | (65) Audi A1 (2010) | 82.6
  • Compact class | (59) Audi A3 (2012) | 91.0
  • Medium-sized class | (36) Audi A4 (2008) | 87.7
  • Upper medium class / upper class | (20) Audi A6 (2011) | 94.6
  • Sports cars / convertibles |(21) Audi TT (2006) | 81.0
  • Off-roaders / SUVs | (71) Mercedes-Benz M-Class / GLE (2011) | 92.4
  • Hatchback | (54) Mercedes-Benz B-Class (2011) | 91.4
  • Small van | (30) VW Amarok (2010) | 71.0
  • Vans | (15) Mercedes-Benz Sprinter (2006) | 62.5

As in the last two years, the Audi A6 (2011) was named “Best of All Classes.” This title is awarded to the model with the best average in the DEKRA Fault Index across all vehicle classes in the three mileage ranges up to 150,000 km. The DFI for the Audi A6 is 94.6. Second and third place went to the Mercedes-Benz M-Class/GLE (2011; DFI 92.4) and the Mercedes-Benz B-Class (2011; DFI 91.4).

Special evaluations for “Vintage Cars” and “Discontinued Popular Models”

In addition to the nine vehicle classes, the DEKRA Used Car Report also includes several special evaluations. “Vintage Cars” lists 15 vehicle models that were released onto the market over 30 years ago and are therefore eligible to be registered as historic vehicles, but large numbers of which are still sold as used cars. This is subject to the same minimum threshold of 1,000 inspected vehicles within a specific mileage range. In comparison with the regular vehicle classes, the mileage categories are adapted and cover a range between 50,001 and 250,000 km.

This also applies to the “Discontinued Popular Models” special evaluation, included in the DEKRA Used Car Report for the fifth time. These 119 models have not been sold as new cars for some time but are still often sold as used cars. These vehicles are particularly interesting to buyers with a small budget.

No ranking for “Newcomer” category

The 2018 DEKRA Used Car Report also includes vehicle models that have been available on the market for less than three years in a separate “Newcomer” category with no rankings. With these vehicles, different influencing factors come into play, which make it difficult to perform the evaluation as we would normally for the report, because owners and workshops often treat new cars differently to older used cars. In addition, manufacturers are increasingly publicizing their authorized repair shops, with the aim of reducing defect rates. This limits the value of the main inspection statistics about the quality of the vehicle. An effective way to compare these vehicle models does not exist. For this reason, the DEKRA Used Car Report has deliberately confined these 17 models to a separate vehicle class with no ranking and provided only information on general tendencies.

The DEKRA Used Car Report is available online and as an app

The results of the DEKRA Used Car Report 2018 are now available online at The free app for iPhone and iPad as well as for Android devices is also available in the new version on the appropriate platforms.