1 in 3 cars checked by HPI have something to hide
Analysis of over 10 million HPI Checks carried out in 2011 reveals that unscrupulous sellers continue to be a genuine threat for many thousands of people buying second hand cars; 1 in 3 cars checked by vehicle information expert HPI having something to hide. As money fears tighten, the last thing anyone buying a used car needs to discover is that they’ve made a bad decision.
Kristian Welch, Consumer Director for HPI explains: “It’s alarming to see used car buyers are still exposed to danger when looking to invest their hard-earned cash in a new set of wheels. Yet, with an HPI Check report, there’s no need to take that risk.
“We help buyers arm themselves with the facts which means they can shop with confidence, avoiding the danger of losing their money on a car that has a murky past.”
Could the car be repossessed?
Outstanding finance remains the number one threat to used car buyers, with 1 in 4 cars checked by HPI still on a finance agreement. However, a new ownercould be liable for any outstanding finance on the vehicle, so they could lose both the vehicle and the money they paid for it if the finance company decides to reclaim the vehicle.
Worryingly, not all vehicle data checks include finance data so buyers need to ensure they turn to a provider that does. As the UK’s most comprehensive financial agreement database, HPI currently holds details of over 7 million live finance interests. This information is used to confirm if a car is still on finance or not, enabling consumers to buy with confidence.
Has it been stolen to order?
More than 19 stolen vehicles are uncovered every day through HPI Check reports. Buying a stolen vehicle is a ‘lose-lose’ situation. Yet, with criminals using tricks like ‘cloning’ (disguising the identity of a stolen car by using the identity of another, legitimate, car) , it’s easy for unsuspecting buyers to be duped.
Using information from the Police National Computer (PNC), an HPI Check will reveal if the vehicle has been stolen, protecting the buyer and safeguarding their money. What’s more, HPI is the only company to defend consumers against being a victim of car cloning with its HPI Guarantee.
Is it Roadworthy?
4% of the vehicles that are checked with HPI are recorded as an insurance ‘total loss’, or write-off. It’s easy to be taken in by shiny paintwork, but buyers need to beware – just because they can’t see damage it doesn’t mean it isn’t there. While some damaged cars can be safely repaired and returned to the road, others will only be fit for scrap.
HPI uses data from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and theMotor Insurance Anti Fraud and Theft Register (MIAFTR) to help buyers spot the difference between a bargain and a death trap on wheels.
Clocking back the miles
1 in 20 cars checked with HPI has had their mileage altered. Dodgy sellers see clocking as an easy way to push up the price of their vehicle, so buyers need to watch out for cars with mileage that’s going backwards. Not knowing the true mileage could also mean there’s a risk of missing critical maintenance tasks, such as full servicing that include important part replacements.
The HPI Check service uses the National Mileage Register (NMR), featuring over 130 million records, to ensure that a car’s mileage is accurate.
Changing identity to hide a murky past
1 in 5 cars checked by HPI has had a plate change. Of course, many owners simply want to personalise their car. But there are some people who will use a new plate to hide the truth about a vehicle. It could be stolen or an insurance write-off.
An HPI Check report matches the vehicle registration number (VRM) with the vehicle’s chassis number (VIN) to uncover any hidden truths.
“As our latest figures show, innocent buyers continue to be caught out fraudsters,” Kristian Welch concludes. “Consumers need to remain vigilant and an HPI Check report can give them very real protection, including up to £30,000 financial reimbursement* should the information we provide being incorrect or incomplete.
“If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t take the risk. For £19.99 used car buyers can get an HPI Check online, via their PC, iPad, iPhone or smartphone. With over half of HPI customers spending between £2,000 and £8,000 on their next car, we think it’s a small price to pay to make sure they don’t lose out in the long-run.”