The Importance of a Vehicle History Check

Estimated reading time: 2 mins

Shopping in the used car market has many benefits over buying new. The main advantage is that it is cheaper to buy a used car and you can get more for your money than you would if you bought brand new. It is clear why so many motorists buy used cars, but it can also be dangerous. This is because there are many fraudulent sellers, scams and dangerous automobiles – this is especially true if you buy from a private seller.


Fortunately, it can be easy to protect yourself in the used car market so that you can shop with confidence and find the perfect car. The first line of defence is a vehicle history check. A vehicle check gathers important data on the car from various important bodies, including finance companies, the police, the DVLA, insurance companies and similar bodies in the industry. This data then provides a deep and thorough look into the car’s past which can uncover any hidden secrets.

HPI finds that 1 in 3 cars that they check has some kind of hidden past, so these checks are highly worthwhile. The seller may be genuine, but the car could be harbouring a secret that even they are unaware of. These are a few of the common issues that they uncover:

Outstanding Finance

Any outstanding loan or finance agreement is secured on the car, so if it is sold then the amount outstanding would need to be paid by the new owner. Even if the car is purchased in good faith, the lender would repossess the car if repayments were not made. This is impossible to spot without a history check.


Car crime is a huge problem in the UK. A history check will check with the police to see if it is recorded as stolen – if you purchase a stolen car (even unknowingly), it remains the property of the individual who had it stolen so you will lose the car and your money.


If a car is written-off, it is deemed unsalvageable by insurance companies. These cars should not return to the roads and are incredibly unsafe, but some people attempt to fix these cars and sell them. A check will reveal if the car has previously been written-off.

Logbook Discrepancy

There are over 200,000 stolen logbooks in circulation in the UK and a vehicle with one of these will have been stolen, cloned or rung. These checks can ensure that the logbook actually belongs to the car you are looking at.

As you can see, these checks are highly worthwhile and an important step in the car buying process.

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