Dealers blasé about outstanding finance

Article date: 18 May 2006

  • Only 15% see its as threat, but HPI says it's thenumber one risk

A recent survey by HPI* reports that only 15% of dealers believethat outstanding finance is a threat to their business. However,HPI reveals that statistically it is proven to be the biggest riskfacing dealers today, with 24% of vehicles having outstandingfinance recorded against them.

Daniel Burgess, from HPI automotive, said: “It is crucialthat dealers establish the vehicle’s true owner. Buying a caron outstanding finance means it belongs to the finance house,potentially leaving dealers out of pocket.”

Unsurprisingly, a quarter of respondents place stolen vehicles asthe number one threat to their business. Daniel Burgess confirmed:“HPI identifies nearly 30 stolen vehicles every day, sodealers are right to be concerned, but they can’t afford tobe blasé about the other threats, especially outstandingfinance.”

The survey also revealed that:

  • Only 6% of dealers are worried about plate changes, which hadthe second highest hit rate on the HPI register in 2005. 15out of every 100 vehicles checked with HPI had at least one platechange. Although the growth in personalised plates accounts forsome of these, HPI warns dealers that criminals also use platechanges to hide the identity of a stolen vehicle.
  • Less than one in five dealers see mileage as a risk yetHPI’s National Mileage Register (NMR) shows that 1.3 millionvehicles registered since 1990 have a current discrepancy. Amileage disclaimer is no longer acceptable. Trading Standardsdemand that dealers must state the mileage if they are aware of adiscrepancy and those that don’t face prosecution. The NMRInvestigation Service provides the basis of a sound legal defencemaking it an important way for dealers to protect their business,customers and reputation, as well as complying with TradingStandards.

“Dealers can take simple steps to protect their businesssuch as cross checking the VIN against the VRM and vetstock,” advised Daniel Burgess.

The HPI Check also offers vital protection to dealers, helping themsell with confidence, as well as complying with the OFT and TradingStandards. With the pressure mounting on sales profitability,dealers must take every precaution.”

Once good title to a vehicle has been checked HPI issues anonline certificate, which can be printed and shown to customers toprove the vehicle’s provenance has been adequatelychecked.


*Approximately 200 dealers were surveyed, includingmembers and non-members of HPI, with the following question:

Which of the following do you see as the most significant threat orinconvenience to your business when buying or part exchanging aused car - rate each area 1 to 5 - 1 is the most significantrisk:

1. Outstanding finance
2. Discrepant mileage
3. Plate change
4. An insurance write off
5. Recorded as stolen
6. VIN and VRM do not correspond

RAC Press office contact:
Telephone: 01603 684224 

Lucy Haughey
Telephone: 01603 354337 

Claire Foster, Parm Evans or JustineHoadley 
Telephone: 020 8977 9132 

Notes to editors:

About HPI

  • Originally established in 1938, HPI Limited is a primarysource of vehicle information for the UK motor industry andmotoring consumer, which since August 2004 has been owned byNorwich Union. HPI encompasses both the HPI database of all UKroad registered vehicle descriptions and histories, and theNational Mileage Register which holds in excess of 85 millionmileage readings.
  • Together, HPI and NMR represent the UK's largest vehicleinformation source, combining and interpreting data fromgovernment agencies, industry bodies, private organisations, thepolice and the general public. Registering with HPI helpscompanies to protect their financial interests in motor vehiclesand a wide range of other mobile assets. HPI Checks givepurchasers instant confirmation of whether vehicles are correctlydescribed, known to be subject to outstanding finance or seriousaccident damage, or recorded as stolen or "clocked".
  • 'HPI' and the HPI logo are registered trademarks of HPILimited.
    (1) All prices include VAT and are correct as of 1st January2006
    (2) Mileage Data is not covered by The HPI Guarantee
    (3) The HPI Guarantee is subject to terms and conditions

About RAC

  • With around seven million members, RAC is one of the UK's mostprogressive motoring organisations, providing services for bothprivate and business motorists. Whether it's roadside assistance,windscreen repair and replacement, learning to drive, vehicleinspections and checks, legal and financial services orup-to-the-minute traffic and travel information - RAC is able tomeet motorists’ needs. RAC incorporates BSM, RAC AutoWindscreens, RAC Direct Insurance and HPI.
  • Aviva bought RAC in May 2005. The acquisition brings togetherRAC's powerful brand and customer base with the expertise andleading position in motor insurance of Norwich Union Insurance(part of Aviva). Norwich Union is the UK's largest insurer,insuring one in seven motor vehicles and with a market share ofaround 14%.

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