The 10 Most Expensive Motor Vehicle Accidents in History

By Peter DePaolis

Car accidents are expensive for everyone involved. Not only is there the issue of property damage, but there are medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages that might not be seen right away and add up in the end.

Road crashes cost an estimated $518 billion USD per year. For individual countries, that amount is approximately 1 to 2 percent of their annual GDP according to the Association for Safe International Road Travel (ASIRT). In the United States alone, motor vehicle accidents cost $230.6 billion per year – that’s $820 per person.

In history, there have been several accidents that ranked top dollar. This is not the value of an injury claim, but the actual costs of the incident for the insurance company and victims involved.

What Are the 10 Most Expensive Car Accidents in History?

Whether it is a luxury car involved in the accident, vintage car, or someone famous, these incidents can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and sometimes venture into the millions. These top ten incidents are ranked from the least to the most expensive.

motor vehicle infographic

The Luxury Car Pile-Up of Monaco

If you have ever visited Monaco, you are more than aware of the caliber of vehicles sharing the road. In July 2011, five luxury cars piled up and ranked as one of the most expensive car accident in history.

The collision involved a Bentley Azure (which retails at $400,000 alone), a Mercedes S Class (retails at $120,000), an Aston Martin Rapide (retails at $230,000), a Ferrari F430 (retails at $230,000), and a Porsche 911 (retails at $130,000). All five collided in front of the legendary Place du Casino in Monaco.

You would think drivers of such expensive vehicles would be extra cautious. But in this case, the driver of the Bentley accidentally scraped the side of the Mercedes then slammed into the Ferrari. Afterward, the Bentley’s driver collided with the Aston Martin and Porsche.

Overall, the accident was estimated to cost $1.1 million USD in property damage.

Vintage Toyota Takes on a Tree

Vintage cars carry a higher value than newer models. And a well-preserved Toyota 2000GT is one example of a vintage car worth a lot of money. In fact, only 337 were ever made of that specific model. Recently, the value of this antique car has reached $1.2 million USD.

In this accident, a tree fell onto a vintage 2000GT as it was passing by. The occupants were not injured. The car, however, did not make it. The total cost of this accident was estimated to be at $1.2 million.

Mr. Bean Wrecks His McLaren

The actor, Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean), crashed his McLaren F1 in August 2011. He was uninjured, but the car was damaged and estimated to cost his insurer approximately $1.5 million USD. At the time, it was the highest incident recorded for a United Kingdom insurance claim.

This was not his first incident in that very vehicle. In fact, he had crashed the car just a few years before.

Vehicle Demolished at 65 MPH

One driver was using his brother’s Bugatti Veyron when he lost control at 65 miles per hour and struck another vehicle. The driver was fined the equivalent of $600 USD and received nine penalty points for causing the crash.

The vehicle, however, was estimated to cost the insurer $1.6 million. At the time of the accident, the Veyron was the most expensive and fastest sports car – it topped out at 253 miles per hour.

Fast and Furious Takes on China

In Beijing, and only a few days after Fast and Furious 7 premiered in China, two wealthy young adults destroyed their Ferrari and Lamborghini. The drivers had minor injuries and were arrested after the crash. Racing is outlawed in the country, but still happens.

They were estimated to be driving at 111 miles per hour before wrecking. The incident cost their insurance carrier $1.8 million USD.

Bugatti Goes for a Swim

Here is one in the United States that cost insurers $2 million USD. The owner of the 2006 Bugatti Veyron swerved to avoid a pelican and drove his expensive luxury vehicle into the water. This ended up being no accident. Instead, the owner had just recently insured the vehicle for $2.2 million when it was purchased for only $1 million.

YouTube helped law enforcement and insurance claims adjusters catch on to the ruse. The owner did not receive his claim money but also did not serve any jail time.

Luxury Collision in Malibu

While under the influence of alcohol, Stefan Eriksson (a Swiss criminal involved in gambling and the mafia) split his Ferrari Enzo in two in a collision clocked at 162 miles per hour.

The accident was estimated to cost $2 million. Somehow, the vehicle was repaired and later sold rather than totaled. The driver accepted a plea bargain and was deported to Sweden where he served 18 months.

Rare Italian Vehicle Destroyed in Expensive Crash

A Pagani Zonda F Clubsport Roadster was destroyed in a crash involving a slick road and barrier. There are only 25 of these rare sports cars in the world. With this destruction, there are now only 24 left. The driver suffered only minor injuries, which is surprising considering this classic car has no airbags.

The crash was estimated to cost $2.2 million USD.

Swedish Car Destroyed in Hong Kong

One Chinese man destroyed his Koenigsegg Agera R, which is the most expensive car in the world, after losing control and taking on a sidewalk’s pylons.

The car was not totaled, but the repairs would have put the claim between 3 to 4 million USD. The total value of the car was $4.1 million USD. What’s worse, the car was not insured at the time of the accident.

14 Luxury Cars Collide

The most expensive car accident in history occurred in December 2011. In this crash, there were 14 luxury cars (including 8 Ferraris, 3 Mercedes, and one Lamborghini) involved. The cheapest car in the accident was a lonely Toyota Prius.

Ten drivers in the crash were charged with reckless driving and speeding. Six people were injured, but fortunately there were no fatalities. The accident cost an estimated $4 million USD.

Injured in an Accident?

You do not need to drive a luxury vehicle to have a costly accident on your hands. These most expensive accidents in history involved property damage. But a car accident with a regular passenger vehicle could lead to settlements of similar value – especially when catastrophic injuries occur.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an accident, speak with an attorney to explore your options.

The attorneys at Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP can assist you with your case. Schedule a free case evaluation by contacting one of our three office locations or by submitting a request online.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.