Are HPI Checks Necessary?

We all love a bargain and buying a great second hand car is up there as one of the best, but how can you ensure you are getting what you think you are paying for? How do you know your new motor doesn’t have a hidden history?

As with buying any used item, you really need to do your homework to make sure that you are getting a good deal and don’t get any nasty surprises a few weeks down the line. One of the questions most people ask when starting their search is “Are HPI checks necessary?”

So what is an HPI check?

It is a service provided by a company called HPI that takes data from the DVLA, the National Mileage Register, Police records, insurance companies, finance houses and industry bodies to find out things about the car that the seller may or may not already know or maybe doesn’t want the buyer to know!

The check will provide you with information on a number of things about your potential four-wheeled bargain. Among other things, it will tell you if:

  • the car has been an insurance write off
  • the car has any outstanding finance
  • the car is stolen

How much does it cost?

About £20. There are numerous companies offering history checks for less but be careful: will they provide you with all the information you need? Probably not.

To ensure you get a comprehensive check, we really recommend that you use HPI to run the check. It’s better to spend £20 now and drive away feeling assured that your car is kosher! You can even save yourself time by running this check before you view the car.

If you buy from a dealer, ask them to show you proof of the HPI check as all dealers should have already carried out this check.

What information do I need to do the check?

It’s quite simple: you will need to provide the vehicle identification number (VIN), the mileage and the V5 registration document issue date with the serial number. A little tip is to also check the MOT history and make sure that this matches the one on the V5C document and on the HPI report.

How long does it take?

As soon as you have purchased the report, it will land on your screen immediately as well as getting a backup email. Make sure you save the reference number as you will need this to update your check.

So get out there and get shopping for your new wheels with the knowledge that a few minutes of your time on an HPI check is all it takes to give you the peace of mind that your bargain is genuine. Happy motoring!

Tootle is a digital car selling platform that successfully bridges the gap between consumers and dealers. To find out more, please visit:

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