Checking a car’s history is essential to save time, money and hassle. Buying a used car without knowing the past can be risky. You may end up with a problem car or lose your money. Make sure checking a car’s history before you buy it is at the top of your list of things to do.
Get a car history check
A car history check from someone like HPI will uncover if a car has a hidden past. A vehicle check will tell you if the vehicle is written off, has an active finance agreement or is recorded as stolen by the police.
If you purchase a used car that still has finance owed on it by a previous owner, the finance company would be entitled to seize the vehicle from you despite you have purchased in good faith and being unaware there was finance outstanding. You would not only lose the car but also the purchase money as well.
Insurance companies will “write off” a car when either the vehicle is badly damaged in an accident, or when stolen and they have paid out on the theft claim. Although the car may not be recovered, the insurers will remain the legal owners of that car. If you buy a car that is a “write off” you may lose both the car and your purchase money.
If you were unlucky and purchased a stolen car, it would remain the property of the original owner who could reclaim it. Once again you could lose both the car and your money.
Clocking is done by unscrupulous dealers and private sellers to increase the apparent value of a high mileage car. They tamper with the milometer often by re-programming the display with a computer to reduce the mileage of the vehicle. Clocking affects hundreds of thousands of vehicles in the UK.
Cut and shut
A “cut and shut” is when two cars declared as “write-offs” by the insurance companies are welded together, and then illegally given the identity of one of the “write-offs”. Unfortunately, there are unethical dealers, and you need to avoid them.