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HPI reveals that 45% of first time used car buyers ask dad for advice

Father’s Day presents the perfect excuse to celebrate dads and thank them for all the worldly advice they have to offer, whether it’s wanted or not.  However, when it comes to buying a first car, it would appear dads do really know best; 45% of people surveyed by vehicle history check expert, HPI, said they turn to their dad for buying advice.

Philip Nothard, cap hpi consumer and retail editor says, “Turning to a friend (12%) was more common than asking mum; only 7% of those surveyed said they turn to their mothers for advice.   Interestingly, men are more likely to ask their dads for car buying advice (55%), compared to women (35%).  When it comes the best bit of advice their dad had given them*, almost a third (30%) of the total number of people we asked said it was ‘look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves’, and that pearl of wisdom had applied to shopping for a set of wheels.

“Buying your first car is exciting, but it’s easy to get swept away by fancy gadgets and freshly polished paintwork, putting buyers at risk of paying over the odds for a car with something to hide. First time buyers are even more vulnerable to dishonest sellers, because they haven’t been through the motions before and are unlikely to know what questions to ask, so it’s always good to get advice from someone with more experience, such as your dad.”

Before parting with their money, buyers should always get the fullest possible picture of the car they are about to buy.  Relying on the eye – or dad – alone, could expose them to a nasty surprise later down the line.  The HPI Check® protects buyers against making a costly mistake by revealing whether a vehicle is currently recorded as stolen with the police, has outstanding finance against it, or has been written off.  It also includes as standard, a mileage check against the National Mileage Register, with over 200 million mileage readings.

“If a vehicle turns out to be stolen or on outstanding finance, buyers could lose the car and the money they paid for it when it’s returned to the rightful owner,” concludes Philip Nothard.  “So rather than ‘winging it’ or guessing the status of a used car based on a quick test drive or kicking the tyres, get an instant vehicle history check for complete peace of mind.”


Questions dad asks and what he means
1.  What do you need a car for?

This translates to some prudent advice in terms of buying something fit for purpose.  You may have imagined yourself in a sporty little number but if you’re using this car to nip to and from friends or drive around campus, a Ford Fiesta might be more suitable.

2.   What do you mean you want a new car?

A new car will drop in value as soon as you drive off the forecourt.  Avoid depreciation by buying a nearly new car instead, there’s more selection and lots more scope to negotiate a bargain.

3.     Why are you buying the first car that you have seen?

Do some proper research and understand the market, how much the car should cost and be realistic about how much you can negotiate on the price and don’t just buy the first car that you see.

4.     How much?

Set a budget and be realistic but most of all, stick to it!

5.     Have you spent all of your savings?

Make sure you check out the car’s running costs including insurance, car tax and servicing so that you know you can comfortably afford driving it.

6.     What do you mean you’re buying it online without seeing it?

Always view the car that you are looking to buy – check the car’s registration document (V5C) to validate ownership and the accuracy of the vehicle’s age and mileage.

7.     Have you read the small print?

Check that the engine/chassis numbers match the V5C and HPI documentation.

8.     Where’s your coat?

Bring a coat – although it may be cold now, you will want check how the car will perform in both summer and winter. A good way to try this is to leave on your coat at first and see how well the car’s air conditioning cools you. Then, take it off and see how long it takes to warm up.

9.     Why do you need to go to the cash point?

Always use the banking system, it will protect you from losing the full cost of the car.

10.  What does the clock say?

Does the mileage match the age of the car? Look for excessive wear on the steering wheel, gear stick, seat and foot pedals which could indicate the vehicle is older than the mileage suggests.

11.  How does it drive?

Take it for a test drive on a variety of roads for at least 10-15 miles.

12.  Have you done a vehicle history check?

Conduct an HPI Check at to reveal a car’s hidden history

*The HPI survey revealed that the top 5 pearls of wisdom dads have to offer are:

  1. Save for a rainy day
  2. Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves
  3. Never leave a job without having one to go to
  4. Never go to sleep on an argument
  5. Don’t let your heart rule your head

*Source survey of 100 respondents May 2016