Jul 112017
 

Buying a used car at an official dealership normally guarantees the car you have chosen is being sold as described. However, many cars are bought and sold through private sellers.

With a survey revealing 45% of those buying privately felt ‘deceived’ after their transaction, we’ve looked into how consumers can avoid potential financial shortfalls due to previous vehicle owners.

‘One previous owner’

While consumer protection laws stipulate used car dealers cannot create ‘a misleading impression about previous vehicle usage’, some sellers are failing to highlight if a car was previously used by a hire firm, or for fleet purposes.

This can be problematic because a fleet or rental car will have been driven by multiple people, all of whom have different driving styles and attitudes. Unfortunately, some people treat rentals with less care, which means a new buyer may have to pay for unexpected repairs sooner than they anticipate.

Having a car warranty can be beneficial when purchasing a used vehicle because if you experience unexpected issues, failing parts due to wear and tear can be covered. You can contact Warranty Direct for more information on this and to receive a quote.

Make the necessary checks

The best way to find out information on a previous owner is to have a HPI check performed on the car before purchase. This will tell you about any outstanding finance, logbook loans, write-offs and mileage. Don’t rely on the vendor showing you their HPI report though, as fake checks can be produced for this very reason.

Before making any commitment to buy, you should also ask to see the V5 document which, validates the ‘one previous owner’ claim and names the registered keeper or business.

Ensuring reliable repairs documentation

Some may want to hide the number of repairs their vehicle has had and this is potentially one of the reasons it’s estimated there are currently more than 200,000 stolen V5C registration documents, or logbooks, in circulation.

 Discrepancies in repairs documents could leave new owners with problems, because when previous, unknown repairs are discovered, this could increase insurance costs. If you find out the vehicle was actually previously written off, many insurers could refuse to cover it at all.

However, there are ways consumers can combat these issues, such as ensuring log book details match what you’ve been given and checking the V5C document has a ‘DVL’ watermark. The serial number should not be between BG8229501 to BG9999030, or BI2305501 to BI2800000. If it is, the V5C might be stolen  and you should call the police as soon as it’s safe to.

Mileage discrepancies

It is estimated  1 in 16 cars have altered mileage, so if you are in the market for a new car, this is something to watch. The amount of miles could affect insurance costs, as higher mileage could mean higher risk of vehicle failure.

Discrepancies could also invalidate your car warranty as many companies won’t cover a car if it has done over the agreed number of miles covered by your warranty. This means if the ‘real’ mileage goes over your agreed provider limit you will not be covered.

However, there are ways to spot mileage alterations. Many manufacturers now programme speed odometers to show an asterisk if mileage is changed. Another way to key the mileage is to look in the service history book, which will have mileage listed at each service.

Security risk

When purchasing a second-hand car, you’re probably not thinking about the security risks due to recent advances in technology.

As most major car manufacturers now allow you to control your car from phone apps, a previous owner could still have access to that app, and your car could be operated by someone other than yourself. The only way to prevent this is by going to a factory-authorised dealership and revoking app access from the previous owner.

Checking a previous owner is vital to ensure you don’t end up paying for unexpected repairs and you’re not unknowingly invalidating your warranty or insurance. With these simple tips, we hope our customers will be able to protect themselves more easily from untrustworthy sellers.

Aug 292016
 

Vehicle history check provider, HPI, is urging car buyers to be aware of their rights and remember to check if the vehicle they want to buy is subject to a manufacturer recall.

The warning comes as figures reveal that over six million vehicles have had recalls issued against them in the UK and been returned to dealers since the start of 2011,  affecting manufacturers including Toyota, Honda, Vauxhall, BMW, and Fiat.

Fernando Garcia consumer director at HPI, said: “The problem of recalls just doesn’t seem to be going away. What the high figures demonstrate is just how commonplace recalls are now.”

The number of vehicle recalls rose dramatically in 2014/15 to a total of 39, a 30% increase from the 30 recalled in 2013/14, and with many on a major international scale.

The scandal over General Motors’ failure to promptly recall cars with a potentially faulty ignition switch in the US last year may have prompted other manufacturers to recall more quickly and frequently after identifying any likely faults or problems.

Fernando Garcia continued: “As seen with GM Motors, where 2.6 million cars were recalled,  it can often take an issue of this scale to bring the topic to the public’s attention. Thankfully, the automotive industry is very efficient at repairing faults.

“We’ve launched the HPI Safety Recall Check to give car buyers the ability to identify if the vehicle they are about to purchase has been officially recalled.  Crucially, the HPI Safety Recall Check is the only check that provides recall information on a specific vehicle using the vehicle’s number plate.”

HPI claims the new service adds another layer to the car buyer’s comprehensive vehicle history check, the HPI Check®, further protecting buyers against making a costly mistake.

The HPI Check confirms whether a vehicle is currently recorded as stolen with the police, has outstanding finance against it or has been written off. It also includes as standard, a mileage check against the National Mileage Register, with over 200 million mileage readings.

Dec 262015
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you want some expert advice on the latest scams, plus paperwork and checklists to give you the edge when buying a used car then HPI has the answer, or rather its free guide is here to help.

HPI provider of the HPI Check® is helping used car buyers get it right, when it comes to parting with their hard earned money, with the launch of its digital HPI Used Car Buyer’s Guide. In all the excitement of buying a car, it’s easy to overlook the essentials or even fall prey to common scams. HPI’s comprehensive guide aims to encourage consumers to do their homework to minimise the risks, as well as highlighting the latest scams fraud sellers are carrying out.  It also acts as an important reminder to buyers to conduct a vehicle history check via www.hpicheck.com.

Buying a used car is exciting, but it can also be daunting, which is why HPI has created the Used Car Buyer’s Guide,” explains Neil Hodson, Managing Director for HPI. “Throughout the online pages of this guide, consumers will get advice on how to decide what the best buy is for them, what to look out for when viewing and test driving a potential purchase and how to get the best deal.”

The HPI Used Car Buyer’s Guide gives advice on what to do if people are buying privately or from a dealer, the importance of conducting professional inspections, as well as practical top tips on conducting a thorough test drive. Crucially, HPI’s expert advice includes a section on the most common used car buying scams – clocking, cloning, ringing and cut ‘n’ shuts – giving advice on how to spot one and explaining what the very real risks are.

The guide doesn’t stop at the point when someone decides they want to purchase a vehicle. HPI offers tips on negotiating a good price with the seller, as well as looking into getting the best warranty and insurance deals to make the buyer’s purchase decision financially sound.     Fundamentally, the Guide gives buyers advice on what to do if the purchase goes wrong; 1 in 3 cars checked with HPI have something to hide.

Neil Hodson concludes, “The launch of our new Used Car Buyer’s Guide is part of HPI’s ongoing commitment to helping consumers understand the risks, giving them the tools they need to shop and buy with confidence. Of course, a vehicle check, such as the www.hpicheck.com remains one of the best ways to ensure a vehicle isn’t a write-off, recorded with the police as stolen, clocked or on outstanding finance. Together with this new guide, HPI is helping used car buyers avoid purchasing a lemon, ensuring they drive off into the sunset with the car of their dreams.”

The HPI Check includes a mileage check against the National Mileage Register as standard, now with over 200 million mileage readings. HPI also confirms whether a vehicle is currently recorded as stolen with the police, has outstanding finance against it or has been written off, making it the best way for consumers to protect themselves from fraudsters looking to make a fast profit. In addition, the HPI Check offers a £30,000 Guarantee* in the event of the information it provides being inaccurate, offering added financial peace of mind to used car buyers.

* – subject to terms and conditions. See HPI Check website for more details.

Jun 292015
 

story3HPI CrushWatch from vehicle history check expert HPI, saved over £56 million worth of vehicles that were being driven without insurance, from being crushed at the instruction of the police in 2014. Shockingly, supercars and prestige vehicles are often being driven by insurance evaders. However, popular, high volume makes of car, such as Vauxhall and Ford top the culprit’s chart.

The highest value vehicle HPI CrushWatch identified in 2014, was a Lamborghini Aventador worth £309,000. Rolls Royce, Bentley and Lamborghini vehicles dominated the list of top 10 highest value cars recoveries. Owners of the Vauxhall Corsa and Vauxhall Astra are the most likely to drive uninsured, with nearly 1,000 of these models being reclaimed in 2014. The Ford Focus came in third, with the Fiesta in fourth, showing that popular, mid-range vehicles are frequently hitting the HPI CrushWatch register.

Working under the umbrella of the Finance & Leasing Association’s (FLA) Vehicle Recovery Scheme, HPI CrushWatch brings together motor lenders and Law Enforcement Agencies to enable lenders to reclaim uninsured cars which could have been sold on or scrapped by the police without their knowledge. Not only are the FLA and HPI taking steps towards closing the net on insurance and tax evaders, they are making UK roads safer for law abiding motorists.

Neil Hodson, Managing Director for HPI, comments, “Although, the majority of cars we recovered in 2014, are popular, lower priced vehicles, we also helped recover a significant number of high-end makes and models. Along with some astonishing supercars, we recovered a significant number of Audi, BMW, Land Rover and Mercedes-Benz vehicles. It’s clear that insurance evasion crosses social and financial boundaries.”

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Jun 012015
 

financeThe latest survey from vehicle history check expert, HPI, reveals that a staggering 42% of used car buyers don’t know who legally owns a car that has finance owing on it.

The truth is that a vehicle with outstanding finance belongs to the finance house, which has the legal right to repossess that vehicle at anytime, without warning; 1 in 4 cars checked by HPI are subject to outstanding finance.

Nearly a quarter of those surveyed (23%) assumed the car belongs to the person named on the vehicle’s Log Book, highlighting the extent of misconception amongst consumers. The good news for consumers buying from a dealer is that, if they later discover the vehicle is on finance and repossessed, they will be protected by Innocent Purchaser Protection (IPP) and will be able to get back their money and buy another car.

Neil Hodson, Managing Director for HPI explains: “If a consumer buys a car from a dealer that later turns out to be on outstanding finance, IPP gives them a solution to the problem. The buyer simply needs to contact the finance company and explain that they are an ‘innocent purchaser’ and be able to provide evidence that they purchased the vehicle from a dealer, in goodwill. However, if a consumer buys a car privately, the story is sadly very different; the buyer stands to lose both the car and the money they paid for it. The best form of protection for these car buyers is to conduct a vehicle history check which not only includes an outstanding finance check as standard, but which is backed by a Guarantee.”

In HPI’s survey, 69% of respondents knew who owned a vehicle still on outstanding finance when given the answer as part of a multiple choice question. However, this still leaves almost a third of consumers in the dark, 12% of which believed the car belonged to the person on the Log Book, even if they had handed the cash to someone else and 9% believed the opposite. 7% thought the car belonged to the police and 3% expected it to belong to them.

HPI holds details of over 7 million live finance interests, which represents in excess of 98% of the UK’s motor finance market. Its award winning HPI Check® draws upon this information to confirm to used car buyers if a vehicle has outstanding finance against it.

HPI will also identify if the vehicle has a discrepant mileage; its National Mileage Register holds over 200 million mileage readings. HPI also confirms whether a vehicle is currently recorded as stolen with the police or has been written off, making it the best way for consumers to protect themselves from fraudsters looking to make a fast profit. In addition, the HPI Check offers a £30,000 Guarantee in the event of the information it provides being inaccurate, offering added financial peace of mind to used car buyers.

Neil Hodson concludes, “It’s easy to think it won’t happen to you, but our survey shows that many buyers are woefully misinformed on their legal rights. Never accept a seller or purchaser receipt as proof that the vehicle is clear of finance, as this won’t stop a finance company reclaiming it from you. If you discover when buying the car that it has finance owing, raise two bank drafts, one in the name of the finance company for the outstanding amount of the loan and one for the seller for the remainder. But the best form of protection is to conduct a vehicle history check, such as the HPI Check, BEFORE you buy.”