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May 03

What does a HPI check cover?

Posted by:AutoMoney

HPI Check

We’ve all heard of HPI checks thanks to the number of adverts on the TV, magazines and news articles.  But what does a standard HPI check actually cover? 

Outstanding Finance

The main thing that a HPI checks for is outstanding finance, and this is probably the reason why you’ve heard of a HPI check.  By checking the finance status of a car before you buy it, you will protect yourself from possible nasty shocks later down the line. When a car is purchased on finance, legally the finance company is the owner of the car and can therefore repossess the car if payments are not kept up to date.  Other loans will also be listed on the HPI check, so it is important to check it over closely. 

Written-off Vehicles

If a vehicle has been written-off due to either damage, a car accident or theft, the database that HPI use is updated accordingly. Although a written-off car can be repaired and reinstated to drive on the roads legally, you will need to see and obtain proof that the vehicle has undergone repairs that were completed by a reputable and reliable garage and that the vehicle is now safe to drive. This is incredibly important, as you could find that the vehicle is not insured if it isn’t safe to drive – or worse, could cause a further accident. 

Stolen Vehicles

It is estimated that every day in the UK around 30 cars are reported as stolen and added to the Police National Computer. However, if you have unwittingly purchased one of these reported stolen cars, the police have the right and ability to remove it from your possession. 

Identity of Vehicle

A HPI check will pull information from the DVLA database that includes the make and model of vehicle as well as the colour, door plan, engine size and transmission as well as the number of times that the vehicle has had new owners. It’s important that you check this information with the information the seller is telling you and what is on the V5 document. 

VIN Number and Number Plate

A HPI check will also verify whether the VIN number and the registration number also match the information held on record with the DVLA – if it doesn’t, there could be a number of problems with the vehicle and you would be wise to either walk away from the purchase or seek further information or advice. 

Stolen V5

It is possible that a V5 document could be part of a stolen batch which could lead onto further problems for you in the future.

However a HPI check doesn’t show everything – when purchasing a new car, you also need to consider the service history, previous owner history, any accidents that the vehicle might have been involved in as well as the general appearance and wear and tear.

It is also important to remember when considering the purchase of a new car, or if you want to check the status of your own vehicle, to purchase a full, more expensive HPI check – as these check for far more things. The cheaper HPI checks often leave certain things out, which can come with a sting in the tail for you at a later date.

Image credit: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a0/HpiCheck.jpg

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350.5%APR Representative
Representative example: Loan amount £1000. Duration 18 months. Repayable by 16 monthly repayments of £170.42 and one of £198.42 (includes Bill of Sale registration fee of £28) commencing two months from the date of the loan. Total amount repayable £2925.14. Rate of interest 187% per annum fixed. Representative 350.5%APR. LOANS ARE SECURED ON YOUR CAR. The vehicle may be repossessed if you do not keep up the repayments.