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General Questions

  • How long does it take to get my HPI Check results and how will I receive them?

    The report is delivered on screen to you immediately after you purchase it. You will also get an email. You should save this email for future reference as you will require the reference number to update your check.

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  • Will I receive a copy of my HPI Check in the post?

    No, we do not send out any information in the post. The report is delivered on screen to you immediately after you purchase it. You will also get an email. You should save this email for future reference as you will require the reference number to update your check.

  • What do I do if I have difficulty in obtaining my HPI Check results?

    First, please verify that personal details you entered are correct and that your credit card information is valid. If there is a problem with your browser and the results page is not displayed, please wait a few minutes for the results and email to arrive.

    If there is still a problem, please contact us. We are available to assist you Monday to Friday from 8:00 AM–6:00 PM, Saturday 8:00 AM–5:00 PM, Sunday 10:00 AM–5:00 PMGMT / BST. You will receive an email the same day acknowledging your enquiry, or the next day if you sent your enquiry after 3.00pm. Depending on the nature of your enquiry, providing a resolution may take a little longer.

  • What type of information does an HPI Check provide?

    Your HPI Check will confirm the following details:

    1. Vehicle Description – Using the Vehicle Registration Mark (VRM) your HPI Check will confirm the vehicle description registered with the DVLA. This will include the year of manufacture and date of first registration in the UK. In addition you will be advised of the number of previous keepers registered and the date of last keeper change.
    2. Vehicle Title – Using the Vehicle Registration Mark (VRM) your HPI Check will identify whether this vehicle is subject to:

    Where the vehicle has undergone one or more registration plate changes, you will be advised of each previous registration plate and the date it was applied to the vehicle. Each previous plate will be checked for any current title interests as described above.

  • What type of information does an HPI Check NOT provide?

    Your HPI Check does not provide the names of or information pertaining to a vehicle’s previous or current owner(s).

    Your HPI Check will not provide information on every accident a vehicle has been in. Accident damage is only identified where an insurance company has registered the vehicle as a write-off.

    Your HPI Check will not provide any details on the service history of a vehicle. Your HPI Check will not assess the mechanical condition of a vehicle. If you would like to have an independent inspection of a vehicle, you will need to book a Vehicle Examination.

    Your HPI Check will not provide any details if the vehicle has been stolen and recovered unless there are outstanding interests or the vehicle was subject to being written off as a total loss by the insurer.

  • Where does HPI Check information come from?

    Information provided in your HPI Check comes from a variety of data sources. These include: the DVLA, Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT), the Police, The Association of British Insurers, and numerous finance companies.

  • What should I do if an interest is recorded?

    Where an interest is recorded you will be advised as to the type of interest as well as an explanation as to what the interest means. If you are unsure what to do next please contact the seller and seek an explanation. If you are still unsure about the vehicle purchase, do not go ahead with the transaction.

  • What does “not recorded” indicate?

    “Not recorded” indicates that your HPI Check found no information registered in that category at that particular point in time. This could mean that we have not yet received that data or it could be mean there are no current interests recorded.

  • Can I get a report for a non-UK registered vehicle?

    No, since HPI Check only reports on vehicles registered with the DVLA and DVA.

  • Does it still belong to someone else?

    Lots of people buy vehicles using some form of finance from a finance company. Standard finance agreements work in a similar way to mortgage agreements – the lender/finance company own the vehicle until the debt is settled. That means the person selling the car may be the registered keeper, but NOT the owner of the vehicle. That will continue to be the finance company until the loan agreement has been paid off.

    Not all check providers have finance information, so make sure you use one who does have finance information. 1 in 4 vehicles checked with HPI in 2010 still had finance on them, so it remains a significant risk for used car buyers. If the loan is defaulted on, then the finance company could seize back the vehicle in lieu of payment.

    HPI’s origins are with finance companies and finance agreements so you can be assured that we will have the most comprehensive finance information available. If the vehicle you’re looking at still has finance on it, it’s not the end of the world. You need to speak with both the seller and the finance company to find the best way to clear the finance off the vehicle, and make sure you end up purchasing the vehicle, debt free.

  • Are the Police looking for it?

    If the vehicle has been stolen, then it technically belongs to someone else and the Police will take it from you. It means you risk losing both the car and the cash you paid for it, which could put you seriously out of pocket. A quick check with HPI could tell you all you need to know about it’s stolen status. We uncover more than 19 vehicles a day which are recorded as stolen, so it’s definitely worth researching to make sure you’re not buying someone else’s property.

    An additional risk with stolen vehicles is that they are often cloned – disguised as another vehicle already on the road. Cloned vehicles can be very sophisticated, but some clues can still give them away, so attention to detail is a must when checking the vehicle over. HPI is the only provider to include clone cover as part of the Guarantee – comply with the terms and conditions, and buy prudently, and if you’re unlucky enough to buy a cloned vehicle, you will be covered by the Guarantee (terms and conditions apply).

  • Is it at risk of being sold illegally?

    Vehicles that are often driven by others (hire/fleet cars/ forecourt demonstrators etc) are often registered with HPI, in case someone tries to sell them. If an HPI Check finds a vehicle on the security watch register, we’ll automatically contact the registering company to let them know that someone might be trying to put it up for sale. If your check shows the vehicle as being on security watch, you should not proceed with the purchase until we’ve investigated fully.

  • Is it worth less than you think?

    Clocking vehicles is a quick way of adding value to a vehicle. Most used car buyers are looking for a vehicle with low mileage, so it can be tempting to try and meet this requirement by doing a ‘little adjustment’ of mileage. Whilst it is not illegal to ‘correct’ mileages, it IS illegal to sell a vehicle on and not disclose the change to the mileage. Not only does it add false value, but it also means the vehicle might miss significant service internals and work, which could end up posing a safety risk.

    The HPI Check comes with a market standard valuation – if the vehicle is priced at a lot less than the market standard, you need to find out why. If you were the seller, would you under-price it?

  • Is it dangerous to drive?

    If a vehicle is damaged and an insurance claim is processed for it, the insurer will either authorise repairs to the vehicle, or write it off (declare it a total loss). If it is written off, it will be recorded in a write off category, A, B, C, or D. A and B cars are so badly damaged they should never appear back on the road. C and D vehicles can be repaired and returned to the road, but you should exercise caution with them, and check the repairs have been done correctly and fully. A vehicle inspection should be able to confirm the quality of repairs and general road worthiness of the vehicle. If you buy a category C (or B, if you’re looking to break it for parts), make sure that it has a VIC pass marker against it otherwise you won’t be able to get a new V5C registration document issued for it.

  • Getting technical data on the vehicle

    We also have access to manufacturer-supplied technical data (where available) about the vehicle, ranging from brake horsepower figures, to maximum speed, and even height, length and width.

  • Calculating running costs

    HPI are the only authorised distributor of the official used car label, outside of the transport governmental bodies. Based on the familiar format of CO2 ratings against a tabbed colour chart, the certificate (where available) gives you an ‘at-a-glance’ indication of how economical the vehicle is. Combined with average fuel costs for a year, and vehicle excise duty rates (VED), you’ll quickly be able to see how much the car, bike or van might cost you in your first year of ownership.

  • Stolen vehicle

    If the vehicle comes up as stolen, you should not proceed with the purchase unless HPI can give you the all clear. We will contact the police to check whether they need to take any action and then let you know what will be happening.

  • Outstanding finance

    HPI will provide details of the companies involved and give you a reference number so you can contact them directly to discuss the outstanding finance agreement. A settlement can usually be agreed between the seller, the finance house and the purchaser.

  • Previous damage

    If a vehicle appears on this register, it has been written off by an insurance company. If the damage occurred after 1996, HPI can tell you whether it is a category ‘A’ or ‘B’ write-off, which means it must never reappear on the road; or a category ‘C’ or ‘D’, which can be roadworthy following proper repair and inspection. If the total loss is a result of a theft claim, we will contact the insurance company on your behalf.

  • Inspection report

    This register provides details of written off vehicles that have been properly repaired and have passed an independent Autolign-approved structural examination. HPI have access to all car accident history records and can usually provide a copy of the original inspection for a fee.

  • Vehicle identity

    This provides confirmation of details recorded by the manufacturer. If the description supplied doesn’t match the car or the V5 registration document, HPI will investigate through the DVLA, on request.

  • Security watch

    This is a register of vehicles that are high fraud or theft risks, such as rental cars. If a vehicle appears on this register, HPI will pass your details to whoever placed the security interest so that they can contact you for information regarding the sale.

  • Number plate transfer

    This will show every legitimate plate change since April 1990. You are advised not to buy a car until it has been given the all clear under all its previous plates.

  • VIN match

    If the unique Vehicle Identification Number (VIN, also known as the chassis number) on the vehicle doesn’t match the V5 registration document, this may indicate that it’s either stolen or a ringer. If there is a discrepancy, HPI can investigate and contact the police, if requested.

  • Document match

    If your HPI used car check provides a warning on the issue date or serial number of the V5 registration document, HPI can investigate the true status of the documentation at no extra charge. If it turns out to be fraudulent, we will advise you to notify the police.

  • Outstanding finance

    HPI uses the UK’s most accurate database of finance agreements, with over 7 million current records. 24 out of every 100 vehicles checked with HPI turn out to have outstanding car finance. If the loan remains unpaid when the car changes hands, you stand to lose the car or the money outstanding on it.

  • Stolen vehicles

    Nearly 30 vehicles a day are identified as stolen by the HPI Check. By sourcing information from the Police National Computer, the HPI Check will tell you if the vehicle you are looking at is currently recorded as stolen.

    The HPI Check will not provide details of vehicles that have been recorded as stolen but have subsequently been recovered without damage. If the vehicle has been recovered and written off by an insurance company due to the theft, this will be moved from the stolen register and show on the write off/condition alert register.

  • Written off

    4 out of every 100 vehicles checked with HPI has been written off as a result of damage or theft. Although some can be safely repaired and put back on the road, others are only fit for scrap. Since 1997, the HPI Check has used the Association of British Insurers’ coding on the level of damage sustained, helping you tell the difference.

    Vehicles written off within categories A, B or C will have a ‘VIC marker’ put against them by DVLA. The ‘VIC’ is a Vehicle Identity Check, and it is a scheme designed to help stop stolen cars being passed off as repaired accident damaged cars – also known as ‘ringing’. The DVLA will not issue a V5 for any vehicle with a VIC marker against it, unless the vehicle has passed a VIC test. Any vehicle that requires or has passed a VIC test will have this noted on the V5. A VIC test IS NOT a test on the repair of the vehicle or its road worthiness. In certain circumstances (for example, self-insured vehicles) a VIC marker may be applied to a vehicle without an insurance company formally writing the vehicle off. The HPI Check will state the result of any VIC test the vehicle has been subject to.

  • Inspection report

    The HPI car history check will tell you if a vehicle that was previously declared a total loss has passed an independent structural examination and is now deemed as being roadworthy. If the seller cannot provide an Autolign inspection report, copies of most inspections are available from HPI at additional cost.

  • Mileage problems

    The HPI Check uses the database of the National Mileage Register to search around 6 million records. It provides the best intelligence available to protect against clocking and will help you decide whether the car that’s showing a mileage of 32,000 may have actually covered 132,000 miles.

  • Vehicle identity

    The HPI Check will reveal if the GTi that’s caught your eye is really a CL in disguise. Using over 60 million entries recorded at the DVLA and DVA (N. Ireland), it confirms the make, model, derivative, where possible, (i.e. different types of a particular model such as special and luxury editions), door plan, vehicle’s current colour, if the vehicle’s colour has been changed, transmission, and engine size, as well as how many times it has changed hands. You’ll also be told the year the car was manufactured and the date it was first registered.

  • Stolen V5 document check

    Check if the V5 document is part of a batch recorded as stolen. If the V5 Document is stolen, the vehicle is unlikely to be legitimate. V5C

  • Plate transfer

    20 out of every 100 cars checked by HPI has had at least one plate change. Usually there is nothing to worry about, but a change of plate can be used to hide a car’s past. We are able to search millions of records, going back as far as 1992, and list the plate changes the vehicle has had since then. It could reveal hidden problems, such as being written off or stolen that may have happened under a previous registration plate.

  • Number plate and VIN / chassis number match

    HPI will tell you whether the VRM and VIN correspond to DVLA and DVA (N. Ireland) records. If they don’t, you may be looking at a ringer. Always check that the vehicle’s identification numbers stamped into the bodywork, on the chassis plate and behind the windscreen match the documentation and look original.

  • CO₂ rating

    Using data from DVLA, we are able to tell you what the CO₂ rating (where available) is on the car you are considering buying. Providing you with this information is our way of helping you do something positive about the environmental impact of your next car purchase. The CO₂ bandings are intended as a guide to emissions of the vehicle checked and equate to the current Vehicle Excise Duty bandings.

  • Valuation

    Using industry data that is updated monthly, the HPI Check will indicate the current market value (where available) of the car you’re considering buying – so you can see if you’re getting a good deal.

  • I am checking a classic car, is there anything I need to know?

    You of course want to protect your new pride and joy and ensure your investment is as exactly as it should be.

    From 1954 manufacturers started using serial numbers to identify vehicles. There was no standard for vehicle identification numbers (VIN) and manufacturers all used their own individual coding system. This meant that a number of vehicles and other items could carry the same number. In 1981 a worldwide standard was developed for VINs and therefore every vehicle became unique and could be tracked back to its place of origin.

    If your vehicle is pre 1981 then it’s possible for its non-unique serial number to be attributed to another vehicle or even vehicles. If this happens to you then we would be happy to provide you with a letter of authenticity after we have thoroughly investigated its history for you. There is no extra charge for this service.

Technical Questions

  • What if my Internet connection is lost before I view my report?

    If your local Internet connection fails, after your credit card has been entered, but before you see your report online, please wait a few minutes for the results and email to arrive. If you are still experiencing problems please contact us. We are available to assist you Monday to Friday from 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM, Saturday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM, Sunday 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM GMT / BST . You will receive an email the same day acknowledging your enquiry, or the next day if you sent your enquiry after 3.00 pm. Depending on the nature of your enquiry, providing a resolution may take a little longer.

HPI Check web site security & information

  • Is my on-line transaction safe?

    Protecting your information is a priority. We therefore utilize Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology to protect all personal information including your card number, name and address when ordering a report from our web.

    To confirm that your connection is secure, simply look at the lower right-hand corner of your browser window after accessing a server. If you see an unbroken key or a closed lock (depending upon your browser), the SSL is active and your information is secure. You can also double-check by looking at the URL line of your browser. When accessing a secure server, the first characters of the site address will change from 'http' to 'https.' Some versions of browsers and some firewalls don't permit communication even though the server is secure.

    We designed our web site with multiple layers of security. We utilize state-of-the-art software solutions to prevent unauthorized access and improper use of our site.

  • Can I order over the phone?

    Yes. The HPI Check call centre is available on 0845 300 8905

    • Monday to Friday from 8:00 AM-6:00 PM
    • Saturday 8:00 AM-5:00 PM
    • Sunday 10:00 AM-5:00 PM GMT / BST
  • What about my privacy?

    We are committed to protecting your privacy. User information is only used to support HPI Check we provide to you. This use includes, but is not limited to order fulfillment, customer service, billing, collections and other similar. Except as noted otherwise, user information will not be shared with third parties for any purpose.

  • What about my credit card information?

    HPI is committed to protecting the security of your credit card information. We use a variety of security technologies and procedures to help protect your personal information from unauthorized access, use or disclosure. For example, we store the personal information you provide in computer servers with limited access that are located in controlled facilities secured by the latest in surveillance and security technology. When we transmit sensitive information (such as a credit card numbers) over the internet, we protect it through the use of encryption, such as the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protocol.

    In addition, we have joined the secure payments programmes with VISA and Mastercard, which may form part of your payment process on this website. Verified by Visa and MasterCard SecureCode allow you to confirm that you are the genuine cardholder by giving your pre-selected password when taking part in a transaction.

    If you are not already signed up to these programmes, we strongly recommend you contact your bank and enrol to give your credit card an extra level of security.

    Other than verifying credit card information, we will never willfully disclose credit card information to any third party for any purpose. Feel free to review our Privacy Policy.

  • Who do I contact if I have difficulty in obtaining my check results?

    First, please verify that the personal data you entered is correct and that your credit card information is valid. Then wait a few minutes for the results and email to arrive. If there is still a problem, please contact us. We are available to assist you Monday to Friday from 8:00 AM-6:00 PM, Saturday 8:00 AM-5:00 PM, Sunday10:00 AM-5:00 PM GMT / BST. You will receive an email the same day acknowledging your enquiry, or the next day if you sent your enquiry after 3.00 pm. Depending on the nature of your enquiry, providing a resolution may take a little longer.

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