What is HPI?
What is a HPI check and do you need one?
If you’re looking to buy a new vehicle you’ll often see 'fully HPI checked' or 'HPI clear' within the description.
Although this may sound like one of those jargon sayings it’s recommended you only buy a used vehicle with this status.
It's worth noting that there are other versions of HPI such as CDL or Car Data Check which are all trademarks in their own right however most dealers describe the check as 'HPI' regardless of the company they use.
A HPI Check ensures the vehicle you want to buy:
- isn't already financed elsewhere
- hasn't been written off from an insurance claim
- has the correct mileage
- is not reported stolen
If a vehicle is not "HPI Clear" and you buy it, you could have it taken off you and lose any money you've paid out (worst case scenario).
How often will this happen?
Dealerships may accidentally buy stock that already has finance on it. If they do this they will need to pay off the finance before they can sell it.
A customer could decide to sell a vehicle they have on finance - this is illegal and they are not allowed to. Unfortunately, the only way to know if a private seller is able to sell the vehicle is to do a "HPI Check".
HPI checks will also protect you from the car being taken away by the police (if it has been reported as stolen), or the car not being legal if it’s been written off and isn't road worthy.
The check can also help you see if the mileage is incorrect and the vehicle has been potentially 'clocked'.
A 'HPI check' costs money regardless of where you buy it from which is why you'll only really see dealerships who offer it when you’re buying a car.
You can buy your own check, but if you’re looking at more than one vehicle this can get pricey. A single check is around £20 but you can find some deals such as 3 for £30.
Remember, though, paying £20 may be worth it if the vehicle of your dreams isn’t actually allowed to be sold.
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