The HPI database system holds a huge amount of data about vehicles in the UK.
What are the risks of buying a used car?
Buying a used car can be a risky business. Each year thousands of people buy second hand motor vehicles that have had their mileage reduced, are hiding serious accident damage, are incorrectly described, are stolen or on finance. In many cases the buyer can end up thousands of pounds out of pocket or putting their lives in danger.
Understand the statistics
Super cars - 1 in 3 has outstanding Finance
Super Cars with Mileage Problems - 1 in 20
Number plate transfers - 2 in every 3
Super Car Security Watch - more than 4 per day
Super Cars Stolen - nearly 4 a week
Super Cars Written Off - 6 a day
Super Cars Written Off and Inspected - 1 a week
Super Cars Insurance Payouts - 5 a week
Losing the car and your cash
Used Car Buyers are at risk of purchasing a vehicle they will never legally own and therefore in danger of losing the car and the money they paid for it. This can occur if the vehicle is:
•Subject to outstanding finance - 24 out of 100 vehicles checked by HPI are subject to outstanding finance. This represents the biggest risk to the car buying public and if the loan remains unpaid when you purchase the vehicle, you will never actually own it.
•Stolen - Buying a stolen vehicle will result in you losing both the car and the money you paid for it. HPI Checks identify nearly 30 stolen vehicles a day.
•Cloned - A clone is a stolen car which is given the identity of a legitimate vehicle to help disguise the fact it is stolen. This is the vehicle equivalent of identity fraud. To make sure you don't buy a cloned vehicle follow our buying advice.
Buying a vehicle with a hidden history
Unscrupulous fraudsters have little regard for you or your safety, particularly after you have parted with your cash. Vehicles could have mechanical problems as a result of being:
•Clocked - 6 out of every 100 vehicles checked by HPI have a mileage discrepancy. Buying a clocked vehicle will cost you more than it is really worth, and serious mechanical failures could occur if the correct servicing schedule has not been maintained.
•Written-off - Every year, nearly half a million cars involved in accidents are declared by insurers to have been too badly damaged to be repaired safely or economically - but some still find their way back on the road presenting a real danger to anyone that drives them. On average, 4 out of every 100 vehicles we check has, at some stage, been written-off.
HPI uses the UK's most accurate database of finance agreements, with over 7 million current records. 24 out of every 100 vehicles checked with HPI turn out to have outstanding car finance. If the loan remains unpaid when the car changes hands, you stand to lose the car or the money outstanding on it.
Nearly 30 vehicles a day are identified as stolen by the HPI Check. By sourcing information from the Police National Computer, the HPI Check will tell you if the vehicle you are looking at is currently recorded as stolen.
The HPI Check will not provide details of vehicles that have been recorded as stolen but have subsequently been recovered without damage. If the vehicle has been recovered and written off by an insurance company due to the theft, this will be moved from the stolen register and show on the write off/condition alert register.
4 out of every 100 vehicles checked with HPI has been written-off as a result of damage or theft. Although some can be safely repaired and put back on the road, others are only fit for scrap. Since 1997, the HPI Check has used the Association of British Insurers' coding on the level of damage sustained, helping you tell the difference.
Vehicles written-off within categories A, B or C will have a 'VIC marker' put against them by DVLA. The 'VIC' is a Vehicle Identity Check, and it is a scheme designed to help stop stolen cars being passed off as repaired accident damaged cars - also known as 'ringing'. The DVLA will not issue a V5 for any vehicle with a VIC marker against it, unless the vehicle has passed a VIC test. Any vehicle that requires or has passed a VIC test will have this noted on the V5. A VIC test IS NOT a test on the repair of the vehicle or its road worthiness. In certain circumstances (for example, self-insured vehicles) a VIC marker may be applied to a vehicle without an insurance company formally writing the vehicle off. The HPI Check will state the result of any VIC test the vehicle has been subject to.
The HPI car history check will tell you if a vehicle that was previously declared a total loss has passed an independent structural examination and is now deemed as being roadworthy. If the seller cannot provide an Autolign inspection report, copies of most inspections are available from HPI at additional cost.
The HPI Check uses the database of the National Mileage Register to search around 125 million records. It provides the best intelligence available to protect against clocking and will help you decide whether the car that's showing a mileage of 32,000 may have actually covered 132,000 miles.
The HPI Check will reveal if the GTi that's caught your eye is really a CL in disguise. Using over 60 million entries recorded at the DVLA and DVA (N. Ireland), it confirms the make, model, derivative, where possible, (i.e. different types of a particular model such as special and luxury editions), door plan, vehicle's current colour & prior colour, transmission, and engine size, as well as how many times it has changed hands. You'll also be told the year the car was manufactured and the date it was first registered.
Stolen V5 Document Check
Check if the V5 document is part of a batch recorded as stolen. If the V5 Document is stolen, the vehicle is unlikely to be legitimate.
20 out of every 100 cars checked by HPI has had at least one plate change. Usually there is nothing to worry about, but a change of plate can be used to hide a car's past. We are able to search millions of records, going back as far as 1992, and list the plate changes the vehicle has had since then. It could reveal hidden problems, such as being written off or stolen that may have happened under a previous registration plate.
Number Plate and VIN/Chassis number match
HPI will tell you whether the VRM and VIN correspond to DVLA and DVA (N. Ireland) records. If they don't, you may be looking at a ringer. Always check that the vehicle's identification numbers stamped into the bodywork, on the chassis plate and behind the windscreen match the documentation and look original.
Using data from DVLA, we are able to tell you what the CO2 rating* is on the car you are considering buying. Providing you with this information is our way of helping you do something positive about the environmental impact of your next car purchase. The CO2 bandings are intended as a guide to emissions of the vehicle checked and equate to the current Vehicle Excise Duty bandings.
Using industry data that is updated monthly, the HPI Check will indicate the current market value* of the car you're considering buying - so you can see if you're getting a good deal.
Note. The statistics on this page were accurate in May 2012 with information being supplied by HPi.