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January brings used car bargains, but HPI urges consumers to make sure that bargain doesn’t have a costly hidden history

This month used car buyers could bag themselves a bargain if they add a vehicle to their ‘January Sales’ shopping list advises HPI, provider of the January is traditionally a quieter month with both dealers and private sellers feeling the post Christmas financial hangover. However, with over 29 million cars licenced for use on the UK’s roads* and 1 in 3 of those potentially having a hidden history, car buyers need to protect themselves from buying a nightmare on wheels, masquerading as a dream drive.

Managing Director of HPI, Neil Hodson comments, “It’s worrying to see that used car buyers are still exposed to danger when looking to invest in a new set of wheels. Yet savvy buyers could take this opportunity to drive a hard bargain with private sellers, but only if they understand the risks and how to avoid them.”

Is it on finance?
1 in 4 vehicles checked by HPI has outstanding finance of an average £9,500 – that’s a hefty amount for a used car buyer to pay on top of the original price tag. Anyone buying a car, which is still on finance may lose the vehicle and the money they paid for it, if the finance company claims it back.

Has it been stolen?
30 vehicles per day are identified as currently stolen. A vehicle that later turns out to be stolen, may be returned to the rightful owner, leaving the unsuspecting buyer out of pocket and without a car.

Is it a write-off?
HPI finds 649 vehicles per day, which have been declared insurance write-offs. Don’t be fooled by shiny paintwork, as it could be a write-off that’s not fit to be on the road. Buyers can make an informed decision by conducting an HPI Check, which identifies if a vehicle has been written off and what category it is.

Does it have a dodgy mileage?
1 in 20 vehicles has a mileage discrepancy. On average, a clocked car could cost an innocent buyer £1,497 more than its true value. The HPI Check comes with a mileage check as standard, using the National Mileage Register to cross check over 170 million mileage readings and help buyers avoid throwing money away on a clocked vehicle.

Neil Hodson concludes, “HPI’s hit rates demonstrate the scale of the threat from used car fraudsters. The good news is, buyers don’t have to take the risk of losing their money on a car with something to hide. A visit to should be a crucial step for any used car buyer, as it could spell the difference between a smart purchase and a car with a murky past.”

The HPI Check includes a mileage check against the National Mileage Register as standard, now with over 170 million mileage readings. HPI also confirms whether a vehicle is currently recorded as stolen with the police, has outstanding finance against it or has been written off, making it the best way for consumers to protect themselves from fraudsters looking to make a fast profit. In addition, the HPI Check offers a £30,000 Guarantee** in the event of the information it provides being inaccurate, offering added financial peace of mind to used car buyers.

*Department of Transport Vehicle Licensing Statistics 2014

Please feel free to use the image at the following link to illustrate any articles – HPI Infographic

January 2015

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Notes to Editors
Laura Welsh, Hannah Talbot, Madeleine Roles or Justine Hoadley
Tel: 0208 977 9132

About HPI:
Originally established in 1938, HPI Limited is a primary source of vehicle information for the UK motor industry and motoring consumer which, since December 2008, has been owned by Solera Holdings, Inc. Solera Holdings, Inc. is an integrated group of leading automotive claims solutions companies. Founded in January 2005 by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Tony Aquila, Solera has expanded its geographic reach and now serves more than 55,000 business customers in over 50 countries across six continents.

HPI encompasses both the HPI database of all UK road registered vehicle descriptions and histories, and the National Mileage Register (NMR) which holds in excess of 170 million mileage readings.

Together, HPI and NMR represent one of the UK's largest vehicle information sources, combining and interpreting data from government agencies, industry bodies, private organisations, the police and the general public. Registering with HPI helps companies to protect their financial interests in motor vehicles and a wide range of other mobile assets. HPI Checks give purchasers instant confirmation of whether vehicles are correctly described, known to be subject to outstanding finance or serious accident damage, or recorded as stolen or "clocked".

'HPI' and the HPI logo are registered trademarks of HPI Limited.
(1) All prices include VAT and are correct as of 2nd January 2015
(2) Mileage Data is not covered by The HPI Guarantee
**(3) The HPI Guarantee is subject to terms and conditions

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