Getting an HPI check online is one of the smartest things you can do to protect yourself from being scammed. I just wish there was something similar in every part of the world, but the check that I’m talking about is restricted to the UK only.
So if you’re in the UK and buying a used car, use one of these for piece of mind and to keep your money.
Is there a free HPI check?
What's in this article...
Usually these checks are paid for. The companies that provide them actually pay for the rights to use the main database. They then resell you the information at a small markup.
So if it’s paid, how do they do it for free?
Companies that give you a free check are actually just giving you a “taste” of the check. Meaning, they’ll give you just a little of the information you are looking for in order to get your email and try to sell you their Full Package later.
Now for some people, they only need to check one or two things and so the free version is fine. And that’s great. But most of us “should’ want the entire package to get a proper understanding of the car and its history.
Another part of the check that’s important is the part on insurance claims. This allows you to understand if the car has been in any really bad accidents and has needed major repair.
Cars that have been in serious collisions are often never as good as new again. Their frames get bent, or things are no longer “snug” so there are noises and rattles. These problems get worse over time. Never better.
Often a dealer will buy a wrecked car and rebuild it cheaply so as to make a nice profit on the resale. And although they should disclose that this is how the car was acquired, they often don’t.
My point is, just because it’s a dealer and not something out of an ad doesn’t necessarily lower your probabilities of being scammed.
So can you find a free HPI check online somewhere, yes, absolutely. But be aware that you’re only going to receive past of the data. They need to pay for that data, and unless they can make up the difference somewhere, they are not just going to be nice people and help you out for free.
Otherwise, do the right thing for your own piece of mind and just get a complete HPI check so you know that used car you’re buying is actually drive-able and will last you fro years to come.