1 in 3 have a hidden history
1 in 7 are insurance write-offs
What could your car
be hiding?

Why Should You Check Your Car?

Getting ready to check your carDespite being an everyday occurrence in today's world, buying a used car can still be fraught with uncertainties. You may think you have found the perfect car for you, with a good drive quality and low mileage, and a great price. However there will still be some concerns as to the car's background, and whether the seller is giving you the full honest truth about it's history. By using a vehicle history check you can quickly and easily bring out into the open any hidden background the car may have, which can either put your mind to rest or change your thoughts completely depending on the outcome. Whatever adverse history a vehicle is hiding, knowing it with certainty is crucial to protecting your hard earned cash.

Some facts and figures from a year in the UK

  • Last year over 550,000 vehicles were written-off. This means they were in an accident or damaged to such an extent that it would be cheaper to buy a new one than to repair it.
  • Over 200,000 vehicles were reported stolen, or 'taken without consent', to the police authorities. Of these vehicles, only a quarter were later recovered.
  • Two thirds of all cars were bought with the assistance of some kind of finance agreement. Of these vehicles, a quarter a fully owned by the financing company.
  • 20% of vehicles in the UK have had their number plate changed. Usually for cosmetic reasons, though sometimes for more nefarious purposes.
  • Up to 4,000 vehicles involved in accidents each week. This equates to billions of pounds being paid out by insurers every year.

Some facts and figures from cars checked using a vehicle history check in the same year

  • 1 in 3 have a history that was hidden or otherwise undisclosed to the buyers
  • 1 in 7 of those checked were listed as insurance write-offs

Therefore, statistically you have a 1 in 3 chance that the used car you're interested in purchasing has some sort of adverse history. So, the advice is to check it or regret it!

Used Car Buying Risks

So many cars to choose fromCurrently in the UK it is certainly a buyer's market when it comes to cars. With the effects of the credit crunch still making themselves known in the automotive market, there are great deals to be made on both new and used cars. But, with everyone trying to make a profit, there are always going to be unscrupulous sellers trying to sell on a dodgy vehicle. Whenever buying a used car, it is imperative to check out it's background first. Usually a hefty portion of money is invested into a car, and this is reason enough to make sure it has no adverse history hidden from you before parting with your cash. A proper car check is the best way to avail yourself of a great deal of information on your potential purchase.

Putting you at the most financial risk is the possibility of buying a stolen car. Tens of thousands of vehicles are stolen, or 'taken without consent', every year in the UK. Unfortunately, many of these are then sold on to unsuspecting used car buyers buy criminals posing as legitimate car dealers or private sellers. If by some misfortune you do end up buying a stolen car, you will not only end up without a vehicle, as it is recovered by the authorities, but you will also in all likelihood be left out of pocket.

That low-mileage used vehicle you've been looking at may also be not all that it seems. The used vehicle market in the UK still unfortunately has a problem with clocking, which is the illegal tampering of a car's odometer. Such clocked cars appear to have travelled less distance than they have, and the practise is still widespread. By buying a high mileage car at a low cost and then clocking it, an unscrupulous dealer or private seller can then pass it off as a less travelled vehicle, and subsequently selling it on for a larger profit. Clocking is an art, and many signs of such activity can be difficult to spot. A car check can include official historical mileage data from previous MoTs, which can help to spot any tampering.

Two thirds of all vehicles in the UK are bought with some sort of finance agreement, and the only evidence of this is either the relevant paperwork, or an entry in the finance company's database. Should a rogue trader sell you a car that still has some loan payments outstanding, and not tell you of this fact, then the financing company is within their rights to demand the debt from you, or even repossess it. Without the proper documentation it can be very difficult to prove that the debt is not yours. Most car check services offer to check any outstanding finance on a vehicle, and will have access to databases of finance companies especially for this purpose.

More than half a million vehicles are written-off by insurers every year in the UK alone. Of these, a number will soon reappear on the automotive market, as unscrupulous dealers attempt to pass them off as roadworthy. Others may have been damaged and had any evidence patched over or covered up. Car checks can list any damage or insurance losses that a vehicle may have had, or whether the car has been declared unroadworthy and should be off the road or scrapped.

You can protect yourself from all of these nasties by taking out a car check for any vehicle you're interested in buying. They're inexpensive, and take only a couple of minutes to give you all the information you need.

Edmunds Developer Network