Car data check company HPI alerts used car buyers to the dangers of buying a stolen vehicle, as it reveals nearly 31 stolen vehicles are uncovered by HPI checks every day, making this a very real threat to unsuspecting car buyers.
The latest figures show that, of the vehicles checked with HPI, nearly a third were between 1 and 3 years old. In addition, those consumers based in the Midlands were the most likely to do a history check on a stolen vehicle (nearly 1 in 5), with the north west of England (1 in 6) and East Anglia (1 in 7) also discovering their fair share of stolen vehicles.
HPI STOLEN HIT RATES UK HOT SPOTS
Breakdown of HPI Checks showing vehicle as stolen based on location
1. Midlands 18.99%
2. North West England 16.46%
3. East Anglia 15.19%
4. North East England 15.19%
5. London 12.66%
6. South East England 10.13%
7. South Central England 6.33%
8. South West England 2.53%
9. Wales 2.53%
“Criminals stealing vehicles and attempting to sell them on remains one of the most serious problems for used car buyers” says Nicola Johnson, consumer services manager for HPI. “In many cases, stolen vehicles are “cloned”, where its identity is changed to match that of a legitimate vehicle. This makes them appear legitimate, when in reality, they are anything but.
“It is crucial for consumers to remain vigilant against the threat of buying a stolen car. Car buyers can keep criminals at bay by taking several simple steps; such as checking that all the VIN/chassis numbers on the vehicle match each other and have not been tampered with, completing an vehicle data check to ensure that the registration plate is registered to the VIN/chassis number (as recorded by the DVLA), and checking the seller’s ID – are you buying from the registered keeper of the vehicle as stated on the V5/logbook?
Buyers should also steer clear of purchasing a vehicle which is considerably cheaper than the going rate for similar vehicles of the same age, condition and mileage, as this is a sure-fire indicator that all is not right. Further vehicle security advice can be found on the Metropolitan Police website (www.met.police.uk/crimeprevention/vehicle.htm)”
Johnson, concludes, “The unfortunate reality is if you buy a vehicle which has been stolen you are very likely to lose both the vehicle and the money you paid for it, as it still belongs to the owner. We therefore urge buyers to make sure they take a few simple steps to help prevent this, or they could end up seriously out of pocket.”
HPI’S TOP TIPS TO AVOID BUYING A STOLEN VEHICLE
• Check the VIN number matches with the V5 documents
• If purchasing a vehicle from a private seller’s address, make sure it matches the address listed on the V5C
• Do not purchase if the seller cannot produce any of the vehicle’s documentation (V5/logbook, service records, MOT certificate if the vehicle is over 3 years old)
• Check all the VIN markings and window etchings for signs that thieves may have potentially tampered with them
• Do not purchase if the vehicle is more than 30% below the market value
• Always conduct a vehicle data check such as an HPI Check