RSS Feed

Related Articles

Related Categories

Check a car bargain before you buy

10th June 2011 Print

In the run up to the AVCIS Car Crime Awareness Week (13th – 17th June), used vehicle information expert HPI is urging car buyers to remain vigilant at all times and highlights the potential dangers of buying a used vehicle. Car Crime Awareness Week serves as an annual reminder for motorists to protect themselves from becoming a victim of car crime.  However, HPI warns used car buyers that they shouldn’t just be wary of problems as a car owner, such as theft of their vehicle, but also need to consider the risks as a car buyer - of buying a car that has been stolen, has outstanding finance against it, or has been clocked or cloned.
To mark the 2011 National Car Crime Awareness Week, HPI is also offering a 20% discount on all single HPI Checks carried out from the 13th June till the end of July 2011 inclusive.
“Our figures show that 1 in 3 cars checked with HPI have something to hide, putting buyers at risk of purchasing a car with a suspect history,” saysNicola Johnson, Consumer Services Manager for HPI.

“Used car fraudsters use a range of tricks to con unsuspecting buyers, like clocking the vehicle so the buyer pays over the odds for a vehicle, or selling on a stolen car that should be returned to its rightful owner, leaving the buyer severely out of pocket. Car Crime Awareness Week serves as a great reminder of the risks used car buyers face and the continuing need to protect themselves from unscrupulous sellers. We fully support the message of the week and hope that it raises the profile of car crime, which is still a major problem across the UK. We urge people to make sure they check with HPI before they buy because it could spell the difference between getting themselves a bargain and a banger.”

Stolen to order?

Many criminals who steal a vehicle will then attempt to sell it on to an unsuspecting buyer; the HPI Check is an invaluable tool that will check if a vehicle is recorded as stolen, helping to make sure you also don’t become a victim.

Outstanding Finance

Outstanding finance continues to be a significant risk for used car buyers. HPI, the leading vehicle information provider, is warning car buyers that if they unwittingly buy a car on outstanding finance, there is a very real chance that they will lose both the car and the money they paid for it, as the finance company still own the vehicle until the finance has been settled.

Changing Plates

A personalised plate is a popular addition for many car owners. However, buyers should be warned that many crooks also use plate changes to try to obscure a vehicle’s true past. An HPI Check will look at previous plates and identify any problems with the registration numbers previously associated with the vehicle. In addition, the HPI Check will also match the vehicle registration number with the vehicle’s chassis number – any mismatches may indicate something is amiss with the vehicle.

Clocking back the miles

Despite digital odometers being commonplace in cars today, these are proving no deterrent against clocking.  Sellers may see the clocking of a vehicle as an easy way to make extra cash and the fact remains that clocking is still a big issue for consumers.


It’s easy to be taken in by shiny paintwork and a low price, but many unscrupulous sellers will do anything to make a quick profit. The HPI Check will inform buyers not only if a vehicle has been written-off, but also provide the category of write-off, allowing them to make an informed decision.
To take advantage of HPI’s Car Crime Awareness Week discount offer, simply log on to, or call the dedicated number 0845 300 8905 and quote the reference number NCCAW2011 when prompted for the promotional code