Has your next car been HPI checked? Simon Gray, of Credo Asset Finance, explains why it could cost you dear.
HPI provides car buyers, dealers, finance houses and the insurance industry with access to information on all UK-registered vehicles.
It not only checks for outstanding finance, but tells you whether the vehicle has been registered as stolen or written off. This protects dealers and the public from buying vehicles that are either unsafe or that they will never rightfully own.
Buying a vehicle using finance alleviates this worry as all checks are done by the finance company as part of the application.
Two out of five drivers are unaware their car is legally owned by a finance company due to a loan or lease being outstanding on the vehicle, according to new research.
With one in four cars in the UK subject to outstanding finance, 42% of used car buyers could pose a risk to trade and private buyers when they sell the car.
Managing Director, Neil Hodson, said: "These findings are bad news for dealers as they demonstrate there is a long way to go to educate consumers and leave dealers less exposed to risk. Buyers and sellers need to protect themselves and we urge any buyer to ask for valid ID from the buyer."
HPI is offering dealers a new level of insight into the potential cost of vehicle acquisition and resale with the addition of MOT and tax information.
Managing director Neil Hodson said: "The addition of MOT and tax data means HPI continues to bring dealers the fullest possible picture of a used vehicle, helping them understand the financial implications of investing in or part exchanging stock."
Many used-car buyers assume that vehicle “clocking” is a thing of the past but it is now a bigger threat than ever.
Neil Hodgson, HPI managing director, said: “Popular hatchbacks such as the VW Golf can garner a whopping 40 per cent profit for those clockers who fraudulently take 60,000 miles off the clock. The result is an extra £3,000 which comes straight out of the unsuspecting buyer’s wallet.”
Be on your guard if you discover what looks like an absolute bargain car for sale, as there's a new scam involving rented vehicles doing the rounds.
This scam's a fast-growing one but there are ways to protect yourself:
Firstly, be very suspicious of any offer that is substantially below the market.
Secondly, always ask for paperwork such as the logbook, the certificate of insurance and, if the car is past its first flush of youth, the MOT certificate. Fraudulent sellers won't be able to produce these unless they are skilled at forgery as well – unlikely as the whole thing revolves around speed and they will only know the registration of the car that morning.
Finally, verify the ownership with a firm like HPI Check before parting with a penny.
Fraudsters are increasingly targeting second hand car buyers in a scam which sees a hire vehicle being illegally offered for sale.
Neil Hodson, managing director of HPI, said: 'We've heard of a number of instances whereby consumers have fallen prey to the rental car con. The fraudsters go to quite some lengths to pull the scam off.'
HR Owen has selected HPI's vehicle appraisal software AUTOi to provide increased accuracy and competitive valuations across its network.
After a three month trial, HR Owen is rolling out AUTOi across its dealerships to bring them detailed management information, plus fast and accurate appraisals to help get the best price on quality stock.
HPI is to deliver a number of vehicle provenance solutions to multi-site dealer group Swansway.
The family owned business will use HPI Check, NMR Check and HPI Spec Check to improve the quality of used stock and part exchange vehicles, as well as provide more precise advice to its customer base.
Michael Smyth, chairman of Swansway said, "Making your customers happy is the only sure way for a business to survive, happy customers come back again and again and they tell their friends and colleagues about the experience. HPI is the first name in vehicle checks and the consumer's choice in history checks."
BBC: Car Clocking Has Safety And Financial Implications. BBC One Show & HPI Emphasise Implications Of Clocking Find all the latest car news regarding BBC: Car Clocking Has Safety And Financial Implications at motoring.co.uk.
"The survey was conducted by HPI and its Senior Consumer Services Manager Shane Teskey said: "Everyone looks forward to getting away from it all over the summer, but it’s clear from our survey that driving at the height of the season can be stressful."
A survey of 100 people conducted for the vehicle information service HPI found that the phrase “one careful lady driver” was the worst car ad cliché, followed closely by “baby forces sale”, “genuine reason for sale”, “first to see will buy” and “mint condition”.
HPI has scooped the prestigious Car Dealer Power 2015 award for Provenance Check Provider of the Year - for the 3rd year in a row. Voted for by car dealers and key influencers in the motor industry, this recognition of HPI's commitment to protecting used car buyers comes from the people who really know a thing or two about who to turn to keep fraudsters at bay.
Neil Hodson, Managing Director, comments, “This is a prestigious award win for HPI, voted for by car dealers, the people who understand the risks facing used car buyers, every day. HPI won because dealers recognise the depth and accuracy of data held by HPI, as well our focus on customer service. This is a fantastic independent endorsement for HPI and we will continue to work with the industry to help close the net on fraudsters and help used car buyers shop with confidence.”
When asked what profession a used car buyer would most trust buying from when looking for a used car in the private market; doctors and medical professionals came in third at 15%, with teachers scoring 12% while bottom of the table were builders (1%), IT professionals (2%) and surprisingly, members of the armed forces scored just 4%, along with admin staff and secretaries. Additionally, one in four buyers said they would most trust a vicar when buying a used car.
“It’s important to remember that unscrupulous sellers will do whatever it takes to con innocent used car buyers out of their cash, including impersonating people in authority. That’s why we advise car buyers to use their head, not their heart when buying a used car.”
IT seems as if there’s always someone out there trying to take money out of our pockets.
HPI is warning dealers to be aware of a major credit-card scam targeting used-car retailers across the UK.
While all dealers try to take care with finance, HPI says that in the past fortnight or so, ‘more than a handful’ of cases have come to light where criminals are buying cars from dealers by using stolen or fraudulent credit cards, and quickly selling the vehicles on to another unsuspecting dealer, before the credit-card companies have the opportunity to decline the original sale.
BCA, the UK and Europe's leading vehicle marketplace, has appointed HPI to provide vehicle checks and provenance data for its physical and digital remarketing channels and the webuyanycar vehicle buying service. (See pages 46-47).
Neil Hodson comments "I think it's a substantial win for us in the marketplace. BCA and HPI are two trusted brands that have enviable track records when it comes to developing new solutions for the dealer sector and the wider wholesale market. By working together we present a powerful proposition and we are looking forward to developing our partnership further."
HPI welcomed The European Parliament's clamp down on firms that offer to wind back mileage on cars. HPI explains one in 20 vehicles checked by HPI has a mileage discrepancy, highlighting the size of the issue.
“We welcome this new legislation, which can’t come too soon,” said Neil Hodson, managing director for HPI.
“HPI has been a committed campaigner against clocking and the exploitation of this loophole, so we applaud the EU decision.
“Of course, the new rules won’t end all instances of clocking, but it removes the firms that hide behind the label of legitimacy to help dishonest sellers adjust their mileage to make a fast profit,” he said.
BCA has appointed HPI to provide vehicle checks and provenance data for its physical and digital remarketing channels and the WeBuyAnyCar vehicle buying service.
BCA, the UK and Europe’s leading vehicle marketplace, has entered into a five-year partnership with HPI, following a detailed tender process. BCA will utilise HPI’s VRM Look-up tool and market leading vehicle history check, HPI Check, to provide dealers with essential vehicle and provenance information on their purchases in the wholesale market.
Spencer Lock, the managing director at BCA, said: ‘Provenance is critical in the fast-moving wholesale vehicle sector where buyers are making quick decisions on high-value purchases, often unseen over digital channels. HPI delivers accurate and timely information to underpin those transactions, allowing buyers to bid with confidence.’
Don't buy a used car until you've read our guide to not getting done. Here's everything you need to know before money changes hands
"It’s crucial to carry out a full HPI check – you can arrange this for £19.99 at www.hpicheck.com. It offers cover up to £30,000 and will tell you if a vehicle has any form of outstanding finance, if it’s recorded as stolen or if it’s been an insurance write-off."
" Vehicle history expert HPI found the number of cars with mileage inaccuracies in 2013 was up three per cent on 2012 – a worrying sign that contradicts a decline over the past few years. It estimates nearly half a million cars on the road have false mileage."
Online car checking service HPI charges £20 to study the history of a car you are considering buying. It has found one in four cars checked last year was still being paid for via an outstanding finance deal. Those buying such cars risk having them repossessed.
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