Scotland top region for used cars on outstanding finance
HPI data reveals where consumers are most at risk from used car finance fraud in the UK
New data analysis from HPI, provider of the HPI Check®, reveals that Scotland has the greatest number of used cars for sale hitting the HPI outstanding finance register. The North West of England and Wales follow close behind. A vehicle that has outstanding finance registered against it legally belongs to the finance house, which means unwary buyers could lose the car and the money they paid for it, if the vehicle is repossessed. With as many as 1 in 4 used cars hitting the HPI finance register, private car buyers are being urged to protect themselves from the finance fraudsters.
Neil Hodson, Managing Director for HPI explains: “It’s very clear from our data, that the chances of buying a car that still has finance owing against it is much more likely in some regions across the UK than others. Buyers in the regions London, East Anglia and the South West are the least likely to find themselves with a car that is legally owned by someone else.
“However, if we drill down to sub-regions, high volumes of HPI Checks conducted by buyers in the City of London, Isle of Lewis, Isle of Man, South Glamorgan and Ayrshire are hitting the HPI finance register the most, meaning these cars are likely to be owned by the finance house. The risk of buying one of these cars is that it could very well be reclaimed by the finance company who holds legal title, leaving the buyer without a car and out of pocket.”
If a seller volunteers the fact the car they are selling is on finance, HPI advises buyers to raise two bank drafts, one in the name of the finance company for the outstanding amount of the loan and one for the seller for the remainder of the asking price. If the seller says the vehicle is finance free, and offers a receipt as proof of purchase, buyers shouldn’t be fooled into thinking they are protected; it will not stop a finance company trying to reclaim the vehicle from the buyer if the car later turns out to be on outstanding finance. If a consumer unwittingly buys a car on outstanding finance and discovers this to be the case afterwards, HPI warns buyers to act immediately by negotiating with the finance house that holds the car’s title.
“The best form of protection for car buyers is to conduct a vehicle history check, which not only includes an outstanding finance check as standard, but which is backed by a Guarantee* in the event of the information it provides being incomplete or inaccurate,” concludes Neil Hodson.
The HPI Check includes an outstanding finance check as standard. It also confirms whether a vehicle is currently recorded as stolen with the police, has been written off by an insurer or has a mileage discrepancy against it, making it the best way for consumers to protect themselves from fraudsters looking to make a fast profit. In addition, the HPI Check offers a £30,000 Guarantee* in the event of the information it provides being inaccurate, offering added financial peace of mind to used car buyers.
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