Being able to check the outstanding financial history on a vehicle is an extremely valuable service. It can tell you a huge level of detail about a vehicle’s past. Alongside the other reasons a car’s history is so important, outstanding car finance history is one of the best ways to get an even deeper understanding of what’s been going on in the legal side of a vehicles life rather than just the mechanical side. It’s a really valuable way to uncover some potentially dangerous facts that could really save you in the future.
Some of the most well known or reliable types of outstanding financial history come from services like the classic HPI check (or hire purchase information), but there are other suppliers out there too all working hard to make sure you have every shred of knowledge possible.
Outstanding Financial Status
There are lots of different ways to buy a used car, as we know. You have the option to buy outright, to part exchange, to get a bank loan, and car finance solutions too. They are all more than viable options for you depending on which is the best suited, but they aren’t without their issues. Using financing schemes for vehicles especially presents its own minefield of information that you should really know about and understand. It’s one of the main reasons that problems occur later down the line for vehicles whose owners have had issues with it.
To put that into context, when a car is bought using one of these finance schemes, it usually doesn’t actually belong to the driver. Instead, the car is bought by the company offering the finance agreement. They slowly sell the car to you by the end of your agreement. In some cases, that happens at a fixed rate every month. In other cases, you simply rent the car for the entire period, until you finally finish. Then you have the option to pay what is called a balloon payment, after which you own the vehicle.
The Issue with Finance
If there are any problems before you do own the vehicle, in either of those situations, and you cannot pay the finance agreement requirements, then you may face issues with the ownership of the car. It’s not uncommon for multiple failed payments to result in the financer taking the car back, or in serious cases, for drivers to sell the car without the knowledge of the finance provider, leaving the car with outstanding finance issues in either case.
If you buy a car that has this bad financial history or outstanding car finance history that you haven’t checked, it’s very likely that the police or the finance company will be informed about it. That could be from being stopped, the vehicle being identified, or even when getting something like a service, an MOT, or having repairs done. In any case, when that happens, even if you have bought the car, the car may well be seized or returned to the finance company, leaving you with nothing to show for your efforts and often, being thousands of pounds worse off. It’s a serious issue that can land you in real hot water.
An outstanding finance check or a thorough vehicle history check will also usually be able to help even more. They determine as to whether the vehicle has been used in any criminal activity, too. 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 going to get reported to the police. Once they know about it, they log it on a permanent basis. That means that this information is again stored, often in multiple places.
This kind of vehicle information check is ideal in case you buy that car. At some point down the line, it’s in the same trouble 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.
The last point that a HPI or outstanding car finance check protect you from, in a similar way to vehicle inspections, is previous damage. They let you know about it at the very least. It may well be something that you’ve never even thought about before, but a 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 does, 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 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. If they fix the problems, they can file for various categories that declare 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 that they may not be to a high quality. The car could be really hard to insure too. It’s an important subject.
All of these are hugely important points when it comes to buying a car. They’re all vital to know BEFORE you buy. If not, you’re going to get caught out. 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 it is wise get as many checks as you can.
Safety is always the most important part of things.