How HPI Checks Work and What They Can Do For You

News, Other

A Hire Purchase Inspection check is a way of investigating the history of a car or other motor vehicle that you’re looking to buy, in order to protect yourself from various forms of fraud.

How Do They Work? Where Do They Get Their Information?

To get a car history check, all you need is to supply the vehicle’s license plate number, and the company performing the service will do the rest. Based on this they will draw information from a number of databases maintained by the DVLA, the police, and insurance companies. Some places will claim they can perform a car data check for free, but they typically have access to a much narrower set of data, which means the results are less accurate.

There are limits on what these checks can reveal—they’re not magic and they are limited to the data available in databases, so they will not reveal information that has never been recorded. Normally they will reveal whether the car has been involved in an accident, but if that accident was never reported they cannot do so. Likewise, any undiscovered illicit activity—such as the number plate being changed illegally—will not show up on these reports.

Why Should You Get an HPI Check?

The main reason is to protect yourself from the many scams and schemes based around used cars that are out there. An unscrupulous seller may try to inflate the price of their vehicle by disguising the mileage or the number of previous owners, or by failing to disclose past accidents. Some will even try to sell cars that have been written of, listed as scrapped by the DVLA, or even stolen cars.

Whether it means you’re getting less than you paid for, a vehicle that is actually dangerous, or a car that still legally belongs to someone else, these are all situations you want to avoid. By accessing the service history and other records, you can get the unvarnished truth about a car before you buy it.

HPI checks are also useful for sellers, though, whether they be private individuals or large dealerships. This is because they can provide the most accurate valuation of a vehicle based not just on the age and model, but on the full gamut of facts about the individual car. Buyers can use this to see if they’re getting a fair price as well. The turn around on car history checks is also very quick, meaning you can get the check done as you are viewing the car.

It’s always worthwhile to arm yourself with information, so if you’re looking to buy or sell we can’t recommend HPI checks enough.