With the witching season nearly upon us, HPI warns used car buyers against getting spooked by dodgy used car sellers this Halloween. Protecting buyers from cars that may go bump in the night for over 75 years, HPI reveals that 1 in 3 used cars it checks have something to hide. Buyers need to have their wits about them to avoid the risk of buying a nightmare on wheels.

“Buying a used car doesn’t have to turn into a horror story if buyers take the right precautions,” says Phil Peace, Operations Director for HPI. “Used car fraudsters have more tricks than treats up their sleeves, leaving consumers at risk of paying over the odds for a car that could be stolen, written-off or still on outstanding finance. Clocking is also a major problem, as unscrupulous sellers turn back the mileage in order to push up the price on their vehicle.”

There are many Jekyll and Hyde’ vehicles out on the roads, with crooks using tricks like ‘cloning’ to disguise the identity of a stolen vehicle with that of a legitimate car. More than 30 stolen vehicles are uncovered every day through checks done with HPI, and anyone who buys a stolen vehicle would stand to lose their money and the vehicle when it is returned to its rightful owner. The HPI Check will reveal if a vehicle has been stolen, protecting the buyer and safeguarding their money. What’s more, HPI is the only company to defend consumers against being a victim of car cloning with its HPI Guarantee.

It’s easy to be taken in by shiny paintwork and a low price, but many unscrupulous sellers will do anything to make a quick profit, including hiding previous damage. HPI’s position as an independent source of vehicle information mean that there is no hidden agenda when it comes to revealing the history of the vehicle. The HPI Check will inform buyers not only if a vehicle has been declared an insurance total loss, otherwise known as a write-off, but also provide the category of write-off, allowing them to make an informed decision.

Phil Peace explains: “These long, dark nights offer the perfect cover for the less-than-honest car sellers looking to pull a fast one. We urge buyers to always view a vehicle in daylight. Under the cover of dusk and darkness, it’s a lot harder to spot tell-tale signs of wear and tear or damaged bodywork, even more so if it has been raining. Buyers should also be looking under the bonnet and checking the chassis numbers match each other and the car documents, so good viewing conditions are essential to uncover the skeletons in a vehicle’s closet.

“Buyers don’t need to be haunted by a bad Halloween used car purchase. To prevent a buying nightmare, they should get an HPI Check, which will confirm if a vehicle has been stolen, written-off, or clocked and whether it has outstanding finance against it.”

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