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Buying a vehicle

When buying a used car, we recommend checks are made to ensure it hasn’t been stolen. Criminals often try to disguise the identity of a stolen car before selling it to an innocent car buyer. 

To check the history of a used car before buying one, we advise you to;

  • ask the car dealer if they use a commercial database to confirm whether or not a vehicle has been reported as being stolen, has been written off by an insurance company, or is still being paid for under a finance agreement
  • contact HPI Check and for a small charge they can check the status of the car you’re buying
  • be cautious when buying a car privately, meet the seller at their house and look around for signs of car dealing
  • check the car chassis and vehicle identification number (VIN) and make sure they match those shown on the V5 documents
  • check the vehicle registration hasn’t been tampered with
  • don’t buy the vehicle if the seller cannot provide you with the vehicle registration (V5) document
  • take advantage of ‘indemnity clauses’ at car auctions, for a small fee you will be protected if you find you’ve brought a stolen vehicle.

When buying a car, it’s a good idea to check to see whether it has any security features. Ideally, a car should have one or more of the following;

  • an electric immobiliser
  • a car alarm
  • doors fitted with deadlocks or electronic locks
  • a central locking system
  • a visible vehicle identification number (VIN) – this is a unique number which identifies your car from any other on the road
  • security glazing – strengthened glass fitted to the side and rear windows of the car to make it harder for thieves to break in
  • lockable fuel cap
  • lockable wheel nuts
  • tracking devices to enable cars to be tracked by the police if ever it is stolen.

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