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Used car buyer outfoxes fraudster

Leading vehicle information expert HPI urges used car buyers to protect themselves from the dangers of car cloning.

According to HPI, the number of legitimate vehicles being used to hide the identity of an identical stolen vehicle is on the rise, allowing sellers to pass the vehicle onto an unsuspecting buyer. Thankfully one buyer was saved from buying a cloned vehicle after carrying out a provenance check which otherwise would have resulted in a loss of thousands of pounds…

Mr. Bott spotted a vehicle online and decided to go and check it out at the university campus where the seller was based. When he arrived, Mr. Bott checked the history and details of the vehicle with HPI, via his laptop. The results confirmed that the V5 document issue date did not match with the information held by the DVLA. As a forensic accountant, this was one used car buyer who was used to going through records with a fine tooth comb. After looking at the vehicle service records, the V5 documents, and armed with the information from HPI, Mr. Bott discovered that the vehicle was most likely to be a clone and he called the police, who confirmed that the vehicle was recorded as stolen and that the V5 was fraudulent.

Consumer services manager for HPI, Nicola Johnson comments: “Luckily, Mr. Bott’s profession means he has an eagle eye for spotting discrepancies in paperwork, but most buyers could miss little details like this. Unscrupulous sellers use a bargain price and shiny paintwork to dazzle buyers and too many consumers can fall into the fraudster’s trap. Mr Bott’s experience illustrates the importance of conducting a vehicle check, which can highlight risks even the most experienced buyer could miss. Used car criminals have a wealth of tricks up their sleeves, designed to part buyers from their hard earned cash. Anyone buying a clone stands to lose the car and the money they paid for it as the stolen vehicle will be returned to its rightful owner. A provenance check offers buyers like Mr. Bott the best protection from fraudsters and helps them spot a real bargain.”

Mr. Bott walked away from the deal and says, “Without the provenance check I would never have known that the car was a clone and I could have lost a lot of money. It’s not enough to check the records manually or rely on free services to check a vehicle, as they just don’t offer the depth of protection. This service is priceless for anyone who wants to be sure that the vehicle they are buying is legitimate. As well as confirming whether the car is registered as stolen, has been written-off, or is on finance, the HPI Check also protects buyers with the HPI Guarantee.”

Shockingly, HPI uncovers more than 19 stolen vehicles every day and many of those could be clones masquerading as legitimate vehicles. The company encompasses both the HPI database of all UK road registered vehicle descriptions and histories, and the National Mileage Register (NMR) which holds in excess of 150 million mileage readings.

Did you know….that Safe and Sound car dealerships will carry out a complete provenance check as part of your free motoring package? To find your nearest retailer click here.

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