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 282015
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New data analysis from automotive technology solutions provider, HPI, reveals that Scotland has the greatest number of used cars for sale hitting the HPI outstanding finance register. The North West of England and Wales follow close behind.

Although, the analysis is aimed at buyers, it is a good indication to private buyers as to where they should be careful. A vehicle that has outstanding finance registered against it legally belongs to the finance house, which means unwary buyers could lose the car and the money they paid for it.  With as many as 1 in 4 used cars hitting the HPI finance register, buyers need to protect themselves from the finance fraudsters.

The chances of buying a car that still has finance owing against it is much more likely in some regions across the UK than others.   Buyers in the regions London, East Anglia and the South West are the least likely to find themselves with a car that is legally owned by someone else. High volumes of HPI Checks conducted by buyers in the City of London, Isle of Lewis, Isle of Man, South Glamorgan and Ayrshire are hitting the HPI finance register the most, meaning these cars are likely to be owned by the finance house.

Private buyers stand to lose the car and the money they paid for it if it later turns out to have finance against it. The only safeguard buyers have against putting their reputation and their business at risk, is to conduct a vehicle provenance check.

Most provenance checks are backed by a Guarantee* and the provider will negotiate with the finance house on behalf of the dealer. HPI holds details of over 7 million live finance interests, which represents in excess of 98% of the UK’s motor finance market, making the HPI Check one of strongest defences against finance fraud.

* – subject to terms and conditions

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.

Aug 282015
 

hpi - EU to Outlaw Mileage Correction FirmsCar buyers have to wait until 2018 before they are protected from criminal behaviour. HPI, provider of the HPI Check®, reports that dealers firmly back proposals by the EU to introduce legislation to outlaw mileage correction firms by May 2018. The findings of a survey to HPI’s dealer community reported that 71% support the EU decision.

A further 92% of those surveyed went on to declare that dealers, who are actively adjusting odometers without declaring the act to buyers, should be sought out and prosecuted. The rising support by used car traders to address the issue of clocking follows industry calls to the Government to regulate the registering of mileages adjustments, as well as introducing more mandated occurrences of when mileage information should be collected and recorded.

Neil Hodson, Managing Director for HPI, explains, “It’s clear from our survey, that most dealers are eager to see stricter measures be put in place to tackle clocking, beyond outlawing mileage correction firms. Interestingly, 93% of dealers we surveyed said they have never had cause to adjust or correct a car’s mileage, confirming that fraud is driving this activity. The risks to traders and consumers alike are significant. A dealer who unwittingly buys and sells on a clocked car could face hefty fines and prosecution, not to mention damaging their reputation.”

Sue Robinson of the RMI adds, “We completely agree that there is a need for legislation to tackle the issue of mileage adjustment, better known as ‘clocking’. This issue is detrimental to reputable vehicle dealers and consumers alike. The Government needs to send a clear message that this behaviour is unacceptable and legislation must be changed to prevent clocking.”

Concludes Neil Hodson: “Currently, criminals out to make a fast profit can hide behind the label of legitimacy that mileage correction firms provide. Closing these firms down will ultimately reduce the number of clocked vehicles on the UK’s roads, but the changes in law are some way off and more needs to be done now to send a clear message to fraudsters that the net is closing in on them.”

Jul 292015
 

Covertibles
HPI is warning convertible-loving used car buyers looking to bag themselves a bargain this summer, that this type of car is the most likely to be recorded by HPI as having a discrepant mileage reading – which could mean it’s been ‘clocked’ to reduce its true mileage.

“Clocking – otherwise known as illegitimately adjusting a vehicle’s mileage – has been used by fraudsters to boost the sticker price of a vehicle, but the act of clocking also hides the fact that the car is likely to have done considerably more miles than the driver realises,” warns Neil Hodson, Managing Director for HPI. “If vital components are excessively worn and not replaced as recommended by the manufacturer, that vehicle could be a real danger to the driver and other road users.”

Analysis of HPI’s history checks in 2014* also reveals that not only do convertible cars more frequently have a discrepant mileage, but half will have had a personalised number plate transferred to the car, 1 in 5 will have outstanding finance owing against it, and it’s the 3rd most likely type of car to be recorded as an insurance write-off; family cars and super minis are more commonly written off than convertible cars.

“It’s easy to be swept up in the romance of driving along country lanes with the roof down, but used car buyers need to make sure their cash isn’t wasted on a vehicle with something to hide. The majority of people will personalise their car with a cherished or personalised number plate, particularly people driving prestige or desirable cars, such as convertibles, and this is innocent enough. However, be warned, a personal number plate could be hiding the fact it is a stolen or cloned car. If you buy a car with outstanding finance against it, you could face losing the car and the money you paid for it. And the dangers of driving a written off car that hasn’t been professionally repaired and shouldn’t be on the roads doesn’t bear thinking about – particularly convertible cars which have unique safety and mechanical challenges.”

It is crucial that used car buyers searching for a convertible consider the safety aspects of the vehicle. Most models will be built with a pop-up roll bar to protect passengers in the event of an accident. However, those buyers with smaller budgets should make sure they check with the buyer that air bags are included as the less expensive models don’t include airbags as standard – it’s an optional extra.

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.

HPI’s Tips for Buying a Convertible

1. Check the seal
Any type of convertible roof can be liable to leak after a time – even retractable hardtops. Test by spraying water over the roof, looking for any leaks. Aim at the points where the roof hits the windscreen and where glass hits the roof along the sides.

2. Look for tears in the canvas
If the roof is fabric, you should inspect it closely for tears on the canvas.

3. Speak to Local Dealer
To ascertain how much a new roof could cost you so that you know what you are facing should it needs replacing.

4. Check Carpets & Upholstery
Look for signs of mould or dampness on carpets and the upholstery as this could indicate flooding from a leaking roof.

5. Give it a go
Although it may seem obvious, but make sure you test how the retractable roof operates. Test the switch and check that the motor opens and closes the roof smoothly and quietly.

6. Boot Space
Some convertible roofs, particularly retractable hard tops which break down into two or three pieces in the boot, can take up significant space. Make sure you open the boot when the roof is down and be realistic – will it suffice?

7. Garage or Street Parking
Convertibles today are well insulated and all now come with a glass rear window instead of flimsy, scratch-prone plastic windows but still remain more susceptible to break-ins than hardtops so think about where you are going to park the car.

8. Airbags
Check that the vehicle has air bags and that they are in good working order. Air bags are optional in some less expensive models.

9. Mechanical Maladies
A retractable roof can stop working and, as the car is generally more exposed to the elements, the operation of interior parts can be affected. An MOT is not evidence of a car’s condition so it is best get it checked professionally.

10. Check the history
Shiny convertibles aren’t immune from sellers trying to pass off a dodgy car as a bargain, in fact quite the opposite – the allure of buying a convertible can often blind buyers to problems with it. Make sure you check the history with HPI to be certain.