What is an HPI check and why is it important when purchasing a used vehicle?
Why do we HPI check our vehicles?
The HPI check alerts us to any worrying information held against the vehicle. They use data from the following sources, which are invaluable in the used car market;
- DVLA - The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency is an executive agency of the Department for Transport and they maintain the registration and licensing of drivers and vehicles in the UK. They hold over 48 million driver records and over 40 million vehicle records!
- Finance Companies - banks, finance houses and logbook loan companies notify HPI of any outstanding finance agreements they hold on vehicles.
- Insurance Companies - The Motor Insurance Anti-Fraud and Theft register (MIAFTR) was created in 1987 and holds records of written-off and stolen vehicles. Access to MIAFTR is limited to subscribers who are regularly consulted to ensure that MIAFTR is enhanced, remains efficient and continues to reduce fraud.
- National Mileage Register (NMR) - this is a service operated by HPI Ltd. Clocking is a big problem in the used car marker and NMR helps by building a database of validated mileage. The register currently holds in excess of 200 million mileage readings.
- Police Records - The Police National Computer consists of several databases giving access to information on a national and local basis, including whether or not a vehicle has been reported as stolen.
- The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders - This body is the country's primary source of news and vehicle data on the motor industry.
What is included in an HPI Check?
The reason that we HPI Check all the vehicles that we retail is because of the comprehensive check that the HPI report gives. The following are included in the report;
Recorded as stolen
Is the vehicle recorded on the Police National Computer as stolen? Such vehicles remain the property of the individual or organisation from whom they were stolen. If you buy one of these you stand to lose it, together with the money you paid for it.
As we are selling you a vehicle, we want to know from the start that the vehicle is genuine.
In some cases the damage to a vehicle is so severe that it cannot be repaired. These vehicles should never return to the road but some do. We would not want to sell you a vehicle that could present a danger to you or any passengers that travel with you.
Are you aware that most finance agreements and loans grant the lender ownership of the vehicle until the debt has been paid? The debt stays with the vehicle not the borrower. Therefore, if the debt has not been settled then the lender could repossess the vehicle, meaning that the new purchaser could lose the vehicle and any money paid for it.
Number of previous owners
The number of owners that a vehicle has had is recorded on the logbook (V5C). This information is kept up to date through the DVLA.
Recorded as scrapped
If a vehicle has been marked as scrapped by the DVLA it should not be on the road or available for sale.
There are currently more than 200,000 stolen V5C registration documents, or logbooks, in circulation. Therefore, as part of our checks we check that the logbook actually belongs to the vehicle we have for retail.
Number plate changes
This register indicates whether a vehicle has had a legitimate registration plate change since April 1990. Most people change plates to personalise their vehicles, but they can also be changed to hide a vehicle's history.
As well as checking the registration number of the vehicle HPI also check there are no issues recorded against the vehicles Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). A check is also made that the VIN/Chassis number on the vehicle matches that on the logbook or V5C. A mismatch could indicate an issue.
MOT history check
All our vehicle are provided with at least 6 months MOT but as part of our process we view the MOT history as it provides an excellent insight into how well it has been maintained throughout its previous ownership.
Our reputation is of paramount importance to us. HPI protects us, as the retailer, and you, as the customer. No other check provides the same degree of reassurance about the vehicles we offer for retail.