Finance fraud: The biggest risk to buyers of used motorbikes
The latest information from vehicle history checking expert HPI, reveals that buying a bike on outstanding finance is the biggest threat facing those who want a new motorcycle this summer. 1 in every 10 bikes checked by HPI in 2011 had an outstanding finance agreement against them, leaving buyers at risk of losing the bike they bought and the cash they paid for it.
In a bid to help motorcyclists steer clear of a two-wheeled nightmare, HPI has reduced the cost of its HPI Bike Multicheck for bikes. Used bike buyers can now purchase 3 bike history checks for £24.99, or just £8.33 per check. This means buyers looking at several potential motorcycles are able to create a shortlist of three and fully history check them before making a final choice. Visitors to hpibikecheck.com simply need to enter in the registration number of the first of the 3 motorbikes to be checked, to proceed to the full HPI Bike Multicheck offer.
“Our figures show that bikes with a hidden history are more common than some might think,” explains Kristian Welch, Consumer Director for HPI. “Budgets are tighter than ever, and many are turning to two wheels rather than four to bring household expenses down. But can bikers afford to be left out of pocket and without a bike as a result of making a wrong purchase decision? This is why we have reduced the cost of the HPI Bike Multicheck to help bike buyers avoid the risks.”
If a biker buys a used motorcycle which later turns out to be on outstanding finance, as the new owner, they could be liable for the debt. If the finance company decides to repossess the bike they could lose both the bike and the money they paid for it. Worryingly, not all vehicle data checks include finance data, so buyers need to ensure they turn to a provider that does. With the UK’s most comprehensive financial agreement database, HPI currently holds details of over 7 million live finance interests. This information is used to confirm if a motorcycle is still on finance or not, enabling bikers to buy with confidence.
HPI’s data also shows there are other pitfalls that can catch out used motorcycle buyers. 7% of the bikes that are checked with HPI have been written-off or recorded as a ‘total loss’ by an insurer. A bike that’s been involved in an accident could be a danger to the rider and other road-users. Some bikes can be repaired safely by a professional, but others should go straight to the scrap yard.
7% of bikes checked by HPI have also had a plate change, which could be a sign that it has a hidden history. Adding a cherished, or private, plate to a bike can be done for completely legitimate reasons, such as personalising the bike to the owner. However, criminals could use a new plate to hide the identity of a stolen bike or an insurance write-off. An HPI Bike Check will confirm if the vehicle registration number (VRM) and the chassis number (VIN) match each other, indicating that the motorcycle is legitimate.
Importantly, HPI Bike Checks come with the HPI Guarantee as standard. This provides reimbursement of up to £30,000, should the information supplied by HPI be incomplete or incorrect offering essential peace of mind for used bike buyers.
“It’s easy to be taken in by a great price and a good looking bike, but without carrying out the right checks buyers could end up thousands of pounds out of pocket or worse,” concludes Kristian Welch. “With 1 in 10 bikes we check hitting our outstanding finance register, the HPI Bike Check arms buyers with the tools they need to stop fraudsters in their tracks.”