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The Midlands revealed as stolen vehicle hotspot

9th September 2010 Print

HPI warns used car dealers to be aware of the dangers of buying a stolen vehicle, as it reveals nearly 31 stolen vehicles are uncovered by HPI Checks every day, making this a very real threat for the industry.

The latest figures from HPI also show that of the vehicles it uncovered as stolen, nearly a third were between 1 and 3 years old. In addition, buyers based in the Midlands were the most likely to do a history check on a stolen vehicle (nearly 1 in 5), with the north west of England (1 in 6) and East Anglia (1 in 7) also claiming their fair share of finding vehicles that turn out to be stolen.

HPI stolen hit rates UK hot spots

Breakdown of HPI Checks showing vehicle as stolen based on location

Midlands 18.99%
North West England 16.46%
East Anglia 15.19%
North East England 15.19%
London 12.66%
South East England 10.13%
South Central England 6.33%
South West England 2.53%
Wales 2.53%

“Unsurprisingly, our figures show that newer cars are the most appealing for thieves,” says Daniel Burgess, Automotive Director for HPI. “Criminals stealing vehicles and attempting to sell them on remains one of the most serious problems for used car buyers. In many cases, stolen vehicles are “cloned”, where its identity is changed to match that of a legitimate vehicle. This makes them appear legitimate, when in reality, they are anything but.

“It is crucial dealers remain vigilant against the threat of buying a stolen car.  We constantly remind car buyers that they can keep criminals at bay by taking several simple steps and dealers should equally be following these.  Basics, such as checking that all the VIN/chassis numbers on the vehicle match each other and have not been tampered with and checking the seller’s ID to ensure you are buying from the registered keeper of the vehicle as stated on the V5/logbook are often overlooked.”

HPI continues to work closely with the police to identify and investigate any vehicle which has potentially been stolen. HPI remains at the forefront of protecting the used car market from falling victim to buying a cloned vehicle as it is still the only vehicle check that includes clone cover as part of its Guarantee protection.

Burgess concludes, “The unfortunate reality is if you buy a vehicle which has been stolen you are very likely to lose both the vehicle and the money you paid for it, as it still belongs to the owner or the insurance company if they have paid out a claim on it.  Dealers should always conduct an HPI Check as our latest figures show the continued risk of buying a stolen vehicle. Although our figures show the hotspots for vehicles on the stolen register, everyone should remain vigilant against stolen vehicles, regardless of their location.”