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Your car goes through a lot in its lifetime. We’ve already looked at WHY a car’s history is important, but do you know what your car’s history actually is? Or even how all that is going to affect the car outside of the mechanics as well as the inside? Most people don’t, but there is an easy and often cheap way to do it. We’re not just talking about one of our used car checks here either (even if they are awesome), but instead, the HPI check.

It’s a fundamental of the car world and they really are vital to know what you’re getting into. MOTs and service history are amazingly useful, but a HPI check, or hire purchase information is on another level.

Let’s break it down

Financial Status

The first point on our list is about financial status since we’ve just brushed over it so quickly. We know there are a LOT of different ways to buy a car, especially a used car, but some of the most popular revolve around your car being on finance. That’s a huge deal on its own, and there’s a LOT to it (check this out if you want a little more)

So what does a HPI check have to do with any of that? Well, it’s original design was to ensure it wasn’t outstanding. If you buy a car on finance but don’t pay it off, you don’t own the car. If you don’t own the car and sell it, then that car isn’t legit. The problem? If you buy that car and the original owner or police find it… you’re in trouble. They’ll return it to the original owner and you’ll get a lot of hassle in the process. That’s bad news.

Criminal history

The next biggest piece of the puzzle that HPI checks solve is about criminal history. If a car is ever used in a crime or is even a component of the crime, i.e. it as used in a robbery or it has been robbed itself, then that’s probably going to get reported to the police. Once they know about it, they log it on a permanent basis.

The big problem there if you buy that car at some point down the line is the same as the financial worry. Instead of the car not technically belonging to you and it having a debt hanging from it, it has a criminal record instead. It could be seized, scrapped, or just a host of other issues. It will be a nightmare for the owner, not to mention impossible to use/insure. You’ll lose out on a lot.

Previous damage

The last point that HPI checks protect you from is previous damage, or they let you know about it at least. It may well be something that you’ve never even thought about before, but a HPI check is one of the easiest ways to find out about anything really bad that’s happened to your car. Not even like an MOT, but more like a serious write-off. It really can be that bad.

When a car takes on a lot of damage, an insurance company may well say the damage repair is more than the worth of the car. When that happens, the written-off car can be bought and fixed by anyone really, and if they fix the problems, they can file for a various category that declares what state the car is in now. It’s a complex subject, but there may well be issues and repairs you don’t even know are there. The big issue is they may not be to a high quality, and the car could be really hard to insure too. It’s a big deal.

All of these are hugely important points when it comes to buying a car, and they’re all vital to know BEFORE you buy. If not, you’re going to get caught out and it could cost you a crash, if not a huge amount of money too. It’s always worth paying a little more before you take the plunge and buy a car, so get as many checks as you can.

Safety is always the most important part of things.