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.”

Nov 282014
 

Ruppert'sLandieThe run-up to Christmas is the perfect time to buy a used car, as dealerships get quiet around the festive season, advises HPI. Savvy used car buyers will know that prices start to creep-up in January so those looking to bag a bargain should be looking to buy now. Whether buying from a dealer or from a private seller, before parting with their hard-earned money, bargian-hunters should get the vehicle checked and follow HPI’s top tips.

Senior Consumer Services Manager, Shane Teskey at HPI says, “Winter may not seem like the obvious time to buy a car, but that’s why it’s ideal for anyone looking for a bargain. As shoppers turn their thoughts to Christmas gifts, sales of cars slow down, meaning there are deals to be struck. However, used car buyers need to do some research and go in knowing exactly what they want.

“At any time of year, consumers need to be aware of the risks and take steps to protect themselves. Buying a car with outstanding finance remains the biggest risk, but 1 in 20 vehicles checked by HPI have a mileage discrepancy. Dodgy sellers can turn back the clock and add hundreds or even thousands to the price tag. Not only could buyers pay over the odds, but the vehicle could have more wear and tear than expected, or in need of repair, sooner than they thought. In addition, we find 30 cars per day reported as stolen, putting car buyers at risk of losing all their money on a car that belongs to someone else. With this in mind, we urge buyers to get any potential bargain checked at HPI, as that’s the best way to ensure it’s a dream machine with nothing to hide.”

Don’t Get into the Drivers’ Seat

The seller can smell a sale, once a buyer sits in the driver’s seat. This is where your emotions take over and you start imagine yourself driving that car, which makes it hard to think with your head. Instead of getting inside, ask the dealer to drive the car out, so you can look at it from all angles.

See the Light

Vehicles can look a lot more attractive in low-light, especially those which have a few dents here and there, so try to view the vehicle in daylight or at least under a very good light source. Take a torch. A good light source will also help you check under the bonnet to ensure chassis numbers match the car’s documents.

Do the Colours Match?

Check the bodywork to see if there is any variation in the shades – even very subtle differences – this normally tells you the car has been worked on. Ask why this is.

Check the Bodywork

Most modern cars have bolt-on panels. Check the bolts under the bonnet. If the paint is chipped on the bolts, it may mean the panels have been modified in some way. Ask why this is – it may give an indication of the car’s accident history.

Do the Air-conditioning and Sat Nav Work?

In the middle of winter, it’s easy to forget the air-conditoning, but you’ll be kicking yourself if it’s not working, once summer arrives. If the car has an integrated sat nav system, make sure it works. Make sure the disc is present, enter your home postcode and make sure it would get you there.

Take the Test

Winter with its cold, damp weather presents unique challenges when it comes to test driving a used car. However you should try to drive as you would in the summertime, take the vehicle up to speed then hit the brakes to test the ABS (when it’s safe to do so). When braking, see how straight the car comes to a stop, as pulling in one direction can indicate brake or alignment problems. Also try taking the car to a large car park and see how it handles on areas where black ice can appear.

HPI Before You Buy

Check the service history and then conduct a vehicle history check at HPI to gain a full picture of the vehicle’s status, ensuring it’s not a banger masquerading as a bargain.

Haggle

Remember, the price on the sticker is only the starting price. Take the price of the defects you’ve spotted off of this price for a start.

Shane Teskey concludes, “With a little preparation, used car buyers can approach any seller ready to drive a hard bargain. Whatever their budget, we recommend conducting a vehicle check at HPI– this way buyers can reduce the risk of splashing their cash on a car that turns out to be a nightmare on wheels.”