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Finance: Do You Really Own Your Own Car?

Does your car actually belong to you, or a finance company?

At HPI, 1 in 4 cars checked by us is subject to a current outstanding finance agreement. Innocent buyers are purchasing cars without knowing the full history. Find out some of the outstanding finance horror stories that we have come across.

An elderly  couple from Dorset  bought their dream buy from an auction. However, it turned out that the previous owner had taken out a finance loan on the vehicle and not paid it off before selling the vehicle on – meaning it could have been repossessed at any time – even though the couple had no idea there was finance owing on it.
Finance hit Dan from London as he lost a brand new BMW in a similar manner. He was cursing himself for not carrying out the correct checks on the vehicle. Not only did he lose the car, but also the money he paid for the BMW.
Stewart, whose father had purchased a car for him to use for his new business, discovered there was an £800 loan outstanding against the car – more than half of its total value. Eventually, the young man was able to borrow the money from a family member, but was astonished that the ‘perfect deal’ from a seemingly reputable person could have gone so wrong.

How can you protect yourself?

Car buyers must make sure that they don’t make a rash decision and throw their money away on a vehicle that may have something to hide. These cases really do illustrate the dangers consumers face when buying a used vehicle. The buyers, through no fault of their own trusted the sellers, yet they were left to pay off a finance debt or see their car repossessed.
With unscrupulous fraudsters taking advantage of any opportunity, they get to make a fast buck at the expense of an innocent car buyer. Unlike write-offs or mileage discrepancies, there are no cosmetic warnings that a car is subject to outstanding finance. The only way to safeguard yourself is to know the full history of the vehicle that you are about to buy. If you would like more information or conduct an HPI check, click here.
Happy driving!