Van Scams – HPI Checks & Used Van Data Checks
Do your homework when shopping for a used van
SOMETIMES first impressions aren’t always what they seem. Say you’re in the market for a new van and you see one at a cracking price that’s bordering on the ‘too good to be true’ side of things.
Well, that could actually be the case because more and more unscrupulous sellers are attempting to pass on vans which have been stolen as legitimate vehicles.
With the rise in van theft in the UK, the likelihood of becoming the victim of one of these scams becomes greater.
That’s why you need to be on your guard when buying a second hand van because if you do fork out a load of money on the vehicle and pay for van insurance and then are forced to hand it back because it has been found to be stolen, you’ll lose everything.
So keep your eyes peeled and get the full lowdown on a van before you part with any money.
Used Vans – Things to Check
It’s not just stolen vans you need to watch for either. Some sellers may attempt to pass on a van which has been in an accident and written off or still has a huge chunk of finance outstanding on it.
If a van has been involved in an accident and written off by an insurer, it’s hardly likely to be roadworthy. Just over 6% of vans are involved in accidents each year and although not all are written off, there’s a good chance that many of those that are, will be sold on by unscrupulous dealers.
Even if a van insurance company has written a vehicle off, someone may try to patch it up and sell it on. However, there’s no way of telling if the van is safe or not.
Around 12% of vans have had their identity disguised for various reasons such as finance which is still owed on them.
However, there are ways you can prevent yourself from being stung. The best way to get as much information on a potential purchase is by getting a HPI check carried out. This will throw up any murky past a van might have and allow you to make a decision on whether to buy it or not.
Van HPI Checks & Used Van Data
A Van HPI check can let you know if a van has been reported stolen, written off by a van insurance company, had its identity changed (also known as ‘cloned’) or whether there is unpaid finance attached to the van.
You should also check to see if the van has been clocked, that is if it has had its mileage altered to disguise the real distance the van has travelled. If the mileage seems suspiciously low for the age and use of the van, then something could be up.
There are many other ways a dodgy dealer may attempt to conceal the identity of a van, such as changing the colour or registration plate. This is known as cloning and will be done in an attempt to hide a potentially shady past. Again, a good HPI check should throw up problems like this.
Any van can have a shady history, but statistics have shown that the most stolen van in the UK is the Ford Transit, so if you do have your eye on one of them, make sure your HPI check is as thorough as possible.
Hopefully, after going through all the relevant checks, you’ll find a great used van that will give you many years of happy service.
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