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Don’t be caught out by ‘bill of sale’ loophole

28th February 2012 Print

The UK’s leading vehicle history check company, HPI, is backing the BBC’s campaign to get used car buyers to protect themselves from buying a vehicle that is on outstanding finance. Outstanding finance remains the number one threat to used car buyers, with 1 in 4 cars checked by HPI still on a finance agreement.
Last night, BBC Inside Out highlighted an increase in the number of unscrupulous sellers passing on credit to unsuspecting buyers in the form of a Bill of Sale agreement, otherwise known as a ‘logbook loan’.  It went on to warn viewers of the risk of being left out of pocket by fraudsters if they did not safeguard themselves with an HPI Check.
’Logbook loans’ are a type of finance often accessed by people that struggle to obtain finance through conventional channels. They are normally secured against a vehicle and have become increasingly popular over the last couple of years as the economy restricts the amount of lending available.
The BBC’s Inside Out feature raised awareness of an old law called the ‘Bill of Sale’.   In 2012 the Government reviewed the Bill which led to the trade body, the Consumer Credit Trade Association (CCTA) introducing a Code of Practice offering consumers a range of additional benefits not previously available, including the requirement to register the loan with a company such as HPI.
“Over 30,000 logbook loans are recorded every year and this figure is rising.  People are simply finding it too difficult to get traditional finance deals from the bank, and in turn a logbook loan has become increasingly popular,” says Kristian Welch, Consumer Director for HPI. “BBC Inside Out confirmed the risks associated with buying a used car that is still on finance, particularly a Bill of Sale style agreement. However, an HPI Check still offers buyers one of the best forms of protection from falling foul of this type of agreement.”
As 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 car is still on finance or not, enabling consumers to buy with confidence.
If a customer conducts an HPI Check, follows its buying guidance, but subsequently finds that the vehicle is subject to a ‘Bill of Sale’ agreement that was not flagged, the buyer will be protected by the HPI guarantee, which provides financial reimbursement of up to £30,000.
Welch concludes, “Outstanding finance, including logbook loans, continues to be a major issue for used car buyers, but the HPI Check offers the best protection and is the most likely way to uncover a logbook loan prior to purchase.”

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