Buying a car is a big decision, and, one element of a car is more important than others: its history.

A go-to method to check a car’s history is an HPI check. Below, we answer “what is an HPI check”, while touching on what it covers, whether it’s worth the money and the importance of car history for all buyers.

What is an HPI check?

What is an HPI check on a car?

An HPI (Hire Purchase Investigation) check is a private vehicle history check. It’s a popular option for many drivers, dealers and mechanics, offering a complete history of UK cars, vans and motorbikes.

So, how does this check differ from manual history checks?

The major USP of an HPI check is its efficiency. Many drivers prefer to pay a small charge and have everything presented to them instead of finding all the information on their own.

It’s so important to check out the history of your car. If you don’t, you leave yourself open to overpaying for a car or not knowing how healthy your purchase is. For example, a vehicle can look new and shiny on the outside but have numerous problems under the bonnet.

Nowadays, people see HPI checks as the industry standard. They provide over 80 points of important information, allowing car buyers to make informed decisions.

What does an HPI check tell you?

The HPI check reviews over 80 historical touchpoints. The key parts it checks are:

  • Outstanding finance – checking if all debts secured against the car have been paid off, as well as checking if the car is currently used as security for any other loans.
  • Write-off history – checking if the car has ever been written off as well as the class of write-off.
  • Theft – monitoring if the car has ever been stolen and if it’s listed on the Police National Computer.
  • Mileage – records the car’s existing mileage.
  • Owner history – full details of the status of previous owners, including the number of owners and the average length of ownership.
  • Number plate history – has the car had its number plate changed recently?
  • Car health – checks the car’s health, whether it has been listed for scrap or if it’s a class A or B write-off. Selling cars that aren’t roadworthy is sadly common.
  • Road tax – reviews if the current owner has paid road tax.
  • MOT history – shares the full history of MOT checks on the car.
  • Fuel costs – lists the average fuel costs and whether the car is above average. Higher fuel costs imply there may be an issue with the engine.
  • Import and export status – reviews whether the car has come in from abroad.

The major thing an HPI check won’t tell you is exact details on the previous owners. Of course, sharing names and passing judgement is a big data issue.

The HPI won’t share the nature of accidents, or its full service history, so you may have to find these details yourself.

Where can you get an HPI check?

Getting an HPI check is straightforward these days.

The service is now fully online, and filling out your details doesn’t take too long.

How much does an HPI check cost?

An HPI check costs around £20.

So, is it worth the money? Well, if you’re paying thousands for a car, then it’s worth chucking £20 on top for peace of mind.

For example, let’s say the car is stolen. You won’t get a refund if/when the car is repossessed, meaning you could, potentially, lose thousands.

For the sake of £20, the peace of mind you get is priceless.

Motoring tips with MotoNovo

There’s a lot of unknowns that go into buying a car. With help from the experts at MotoNovo, you can get prepared to venture into the world of car ownership with confidence. Get clued up on our blog.