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Don’t be a victim of car theft

25th February 2010 Print

The ever present threat of vehicle theft remains a real danger to dealers, with analysis from HPI revealing that 4x4s and compact executive-style vehicles are most at threat from being stolen. Warning dealers not to fall foul of criminals looking to sell on these vehicles, HPI advises retailers to not only conduct an HPI Check to protect themselves, but use the HPI Check certificates as powerful marketing tools by displaying them on forecourt stock.  This means dealers can sell with confidence whilst giving customers true peace of mind.

“Unsurprisingly the large majority of vehicles stolen are cars and if we dig a little deeper, we can see that top of the list are 4x4s and compact executive-style cars. These are most commonly hitting our stolen register, together making up a quarter of all the vehicles HPI reveals as currently stolen,” says Daniel Burgess, Director of Automotive for HPI. “Roadsters and small family cars follow close behind, both at 8%, suggesting it’s not just the prestige fast cars, but the everyday smaller vehicles that are bringing criminals financial gain.

“The age of a vehicle appears to be a big factor in the type of cars stolen, with criminals most commonly targeting vehicles between four and eight years of age.  These cars account for a whopping total of 45% of all stolen cars, probably because they can be sold on relatively easily and usually for cash, making it even easier for criminals to make a quick buck.”

HPI warns dealers to keep their eyes peeled for possible ‘clones’ – stolen vehicles disguised using similar legitimate vehicle identities. It is crucial that dealers have their wits about them when buying a car and applying the simple basics is vital – check the VIN/chassis number, V5 and service documentation, and purchase an HPI Check.

Where a check reveals a recorded stolen vehicle, HPI will investigate with the police to verify the status of the vehicle. If the vehicle is confirmed as stolen, dealers are then advised to contact their local police force. The HPI Check protects dealers with the HPI Guarantee, which includes protection against buying a cloned vehicle -  the only provenance service to do so.

Daniel Burgess concludes:  “We work closely with the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), the DVLA and the Association of Chief Police Officers Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service (AVCIS) to establish how information can be shared to prevent vehicle crime.  In turn, we ask that our dealer members share information they obtain from HPI on their cars for sale with their customers.  It goes without saying that dealers need to protect their business, but by using the power of the HPI brand they can also enhance their reputation by letting customers know that all their stock is HPI clear.”