Are HPI checks worthwhile when buying a classic car?

There are so many issues to consider when buying a classic car

There are so many issues to consider when buying a classic car – but will a HPI check be among them?

Investing in a classic motor can be a sound financial move – though most of us will be buying a classic car with our heart, rather than with our head.

Along with wondering which model will make for the best investment and how much we should spend, the classic car buying process can be confusing to negotiate.

However, understanding the car’s history could be crucial for investment success – and the HPI check really does come into his own.

What is a HPI check?

If you would like a quick way of checking the history of any classic car that has been registered in the UK, then the HPI check report is a sound investment.

It’s this that will alert you to any information that may be a cause for concern and the check will look at the information held by:

  • The DVLA
  • The police
  • Insurance and finance companies
  • Other industry bodies.

For many reasons, the reg check could be one of the most important steps to buying a classic car – and be a defence against the potential of falling victim to vehicle fraud.

Will a HPI vehicle check work for a classic car?

Yes, according to Instant Reg Check, the HPI vehicle check will work for a classic car buyer and highlight important information, such as:

  • Outstanding finance

If the previous owner has borrowed money to buy the car, it means it will still be owned by the finance firm.

  • Written off

Another major issue for classic car buyers is the prospect of buying a fantastic vehicle without knowing it has been previously written off by an insurer. If it has been badly damaged, and an insurance claim has been made, there will be a record of it.

  • Stolen

Another major headache for classic car fans is the prospect of buying a bargain without realising it has been stolen. Car thefts notified to the police will be flagged up with the Police National Computer check.

  • Vehicle identity

Classic car buyers also run the risk of buying a car with a fake identity. The vehicle identification number – or the VIN or chassis number – is recorded by the DVLA which can be confirmed with the HPI check.

  • Other issues

The HPI check will also reveal the records of previous owners and any registration plate transfers made during the lifetime of the vehicle. You will also learn whether the car has been imported or exported previously, any colour changes that have been made and the MOT status.

What happens if I buy at auction?

We’ve all been there – we have attended a classic car auction with a view to seeing how these operate and then been confronted by our dream classic car.

So, what happens to the HPI check when you buy at auction?

Firstly, you should ask the auctioneer for the car’s registration number, or the VIN.

That’s because most auctioneers will mask the number plate but will have the VIN available instead.

You’ll need either of these to carry out the HPI check and access the vehicle’s history and, more importantly, identify the vehicle.

It’s worth noting though that sometimes you may only be given the last five digits of the VIN when you need the whole number.

You can check for the VIN on the vehicle chassis or the windscreen, or it may be in the old-style service booklet. Some classic cars also have a metal plate with the VIN number clearly displayed in the engine bay. The V5C logbook will also have the VIN.

Why getting a HPI check is worth the money

Essentially, having a HPI check carried out for a classic car will be worth it.

The bottom line is that you want your pride and joy to bring you happiness and ensure that the investment you are making is a sound one.

For those classic cars that were made after 1954, car manufacturers started using serial numbers to identify their vehicles – but there was no standard for the VIN and each manufacturer used its own coding system.

Again, you will need to be wary because several vehicles may have carried the same number and the worldwide standard for VINs was not introduced until 1981.

In the big scheme of things, the £20 cost of the HPI check is a small price to pay for confirmation that your classic motor is a legal one.

Find more info:
Instant Reg Check

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