What is a HPI Check? Do I Need One?

HPI is a vehicle history check in the UK. “HPI” is widely used as synonymous with vehicle history checks in general, but HPI is a trademark and there is only one official HPI check.

An HPI Check is usually done prior to buying a used car from a dealer or a private buyer. The check is done to discover whether the vehicle has a hidden history. Checking can show up details that will protect buyers from being scammed and from buying stolen or faulty vehicles.

HPI isn’t restricted to checking used cars. It can also be used to check any vehicle that is registered with the DVLA. It can also include motorbikes, vans, and motor homes.

HPI provides assurances of £30,000. This means you can rest assured that if you do buy the car and it has a fault or some other issue that was not included in the HPI report then you will be able to reclaim up to £30,000 compensation from HPI.

Why do I need to get a HPI check?

There are many reasons to regret not checking a vehicles history before buying it

Risks when buying a used car

  • The car is stolen – This means the seller doesn’t legally own the vehicle and can’t legally sell it to you. No wonder its a bargain. Avoid at all costs!
  • The car was scrapped – The car was previously scrapped. You’re buying a wreck!
  • The car has outstanding finance – You’ll have to pay off the outstanding balance or the car will be repossessed by the finance company
  • The car is a write off – The car was previously written off as beyond repair and not road worthy. Do not buy it!

Is it just for cars? What about vans and motorbikes?

It is not just for used cars. You can check any vehicle registered with the DVLA and that includes vans, motorbikes, motorhomes.

Are there other checks available? Any free car history checks?

Check this guide for alternative car history checks and free hpi checks. Spoiler – there is no such thing as a free “hpi” check, but there are cheaper alternatives and free ways to get specific data about used cars.

Can I check multiple vehicles?

Yes and HPI offer a discount if you do. They also offer a service for dealers

What is included in the HPI check?

The official HPI check covers over 80 data points. Below are some of them. See their website for a full breakdown

  • Outstanding finance – Similar to a mortgage, the lender still owns the vehicle if there is finance outstanding, which means that you don’t own it! You have to pay off the balance!
  • Is the vehicle a ‘write off?’ – HPI gets data from insurance companies about whether a vehicle has been written off in the past. That means that the vehicle was so badly damaged that it is not repairable or roadworthy. Good luck getting that insured!
  • Stolen – You could be buying a stolen car from a person who is not the legal owner. HPI use police records to find this out
  • Scrapped – Check if the vehicle has been scrapped in the past

These are just some of the crucial checks done by HPI. For a full overview of checks visit hpicheck.com where you can also purchase single or multiple HPI checks.

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