posted 5 years ago

Don’t Buy a ‘Halloween Horror’

HPI warns used car buyers

Vehicle History experts HPI say consumers need to protect themselves from buying a ‘Halloween Horror’. The company reveal that one in three used cars that they check have something to hide. Phil Peace, Operations Director for HPI said “buying a used car doesn’t have to turn into a horror story if buyers take the right precautions, used car fraudsters have more tricks than treats up their sleeves, leaving consumers at risk of paying over the odds for a car that could be stolen, written-off or still on outstanding finance. Clocking is also a major problem, as unscrupulous sellers turn back the mileage in order to push up the price on their vehicle.”

One of the biggest risks for consumers is clocking, an HPI check includes a mileage check as standard, offering used car buyers a safeguard against the growing danger of clocking. Phil Pearce also explains “these long, dark nights offer the perfect cover for the less-than-honest car sellers looking to pull a fast one. We urge buyers to always view a vehicle in daylight. Under the cover of dusk and darkness, it’s a lot harder to spot tell-tale signs of wear and tear or damaged bodywork, even more so if it has been raining. Buyers should also be looking under the bonnet and checking the chassis numbers match each other and the car documents, so good viewing conditions are essential to uncover the skeletons in a vehicle’s closet. Buyers don’t need to be haunted by a bad Halloween used car purchase. To prevent a buying nightmare, they should get an HPI Check, which will confirm if a vehicle has been stolen, written-off, or clocked and whether it has outstanding finance against it.”

HPI say that more than thirty vehicles are uncovered every day through checks done by HPI and anyone who buys a stolen vehicle would stand to lose their money and the vehicle when it is returned to the rightful owner. 

Here are some tips for spotting a clocked car; check the service history, check the mileages displayed in the service history and look for invoices and service stamps from a genuine dealer. Speak to the previous keeper; contact the previous keeper to confirm the mileage of the vehicle when they sold it. Trust your judgement, look for any evidence that indicates clocking anything out of keeping with the general condition of the vehicle. Check the mileage, clockers sometimes wind back the mileage for the first viewing and then return it to its original value once you buy. Check the mileage is the same when you pick up the vehicle. Look for signs of wear and tear, do the wear and tear on areas such as seats and the steering wheel match its mileage? Look out for brand new easily replaceable parts, which don’t match the vehicle’s displayed mileage. Finally conduct an HPI Check, don’t take the risk, let HPI check its mileage database of 135 million mileages.