Why You Shouldn't Skip A Vehicle History Check When Purchasing A Used Car

Buying a used car can be an overwhelming experience, especially for first-time buyers with limited knowledge about the vehicle. The excitement of owning a car coupled with the fear of buying a car with problems can make the process more challenging.

However, it would help if you never skipped the essential step of conducting a vehicle history check before making the final purchase decision. In this blog post, we'll provide comprehensive insights into why vehicle history checks are crucial when it comes to purchasing a used car. One way you can check a vehicle is through a HPI check.

Outstanding Finance

One common pitfall of buying a used car is purchasing one that has outstanding finance. This means the car still belongs to a finance company, and you may be held liable for monthly payments even after buying the vehicle.

A full vehicle history check can determine whether there is outstanding finance against the car and give you confidence that the vehicle is strictly within the legal ownership. With a basic Vehicle Smart check, however, you can't access finance checks and may miss out on critical information. When purchasing

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car being repaired at accident repair centre

Written-Off Vehicles

Another critical concern when purchasing a used car is the possibility of buying a previously written-off vehicle. A car is usually written off if the cost of repairs exceeds its value, and it's deemed uneconomical to repair. Although some of these cars can be returned to the road, they may have been repaired poorly and will significantly affect the car's value. A vehicle history check can confirm whether a car has been written off before, allowing you to make an informed decision on whether the repairs were correctly done.

Stolen Cars

It's the stuff of car buyer nightmares to discover the car you just paid thousands of dollars for is, in fact, a stolen vehicle. However, with vehicle history checks and its access to the Police National Computer, you can ensure that a car is not, in fact, stolen property. A full vehicle history check scans through relevant databases to ensure that the car's previous owners have adequately documented its legal ownership. This is not available in free vehicle history checks and is only accessible in the premium option.

MOT Status

An MOT test is used to check the general roadworthiness of a car, including the car’s emissions and other safety measures. Though a vehicle doesn't need an MOT to be sold on, it’s a legal requirement for every car to have its first MOT within three years after registration. Depending on the check package you choose, vehicle history checks allow you to view the MOT status of any car.

This information is essential because it gives you insight into the car’s maintenance records, potential repairs needed, and most importantly, its legal roadworthiness.

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Recalls are safety issue which had been flagged up by the manufacturer. The list of problems ranges from the risk of fires, to airbag concerns, brake and steering issues; the list is endless.

Manufacturers hate having to issue recalls because it damages the brand’s reputation and can be costly, so if a fault has been spotted and a recall’s been issued, it’s usually serious and needs sorting. On the whole they tend to relate to safety issues and yet despite the obvious dangers many owners still don’t bother to take the car back to the dealer for a free fix.

Whist most vehicle owners are very good at returning cars to dealers no one wants to buy a second hand vehicle hiding something nasty and while a reputable dealer will have these things checked out, you’re leaving yourself vulnerable if you go elsewhere.

There are some decent resources though where specialist companies with access to background history can check their data banks to see if a particular model has (a) been the subject of a recall notice and (b) the particular car you’re interested in has had the work done.



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