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Cut Price Car Data Checks


A car data check (often referred to as a HPI check) checks available information from the Police National Computer, data held with the DVLA and data from the Insurance industry.  The check will usually tell you if a vehicle has any outstanding finance due, if the car is stolen (or has previously been stolen & recovered), been written off, cloned or if there is a discrepancy with the mileage or vehicle documentation such as MOT and V5 registration. 

car hpi check


A sample report can be found here


190,000 cars are written off a year by insurers each year in the UK.  Approximately 25% of cars still have finance owing, 1 in 12 cars checked show some mileage discrepancies and 1 in every 3 cars checked has some form of hidden history.


Data check prices vary depending on the level of insurance you require to cover you on the accuracy of the data if you buy the car.  Some policies provide additional information such as vehicle valuation.  Discounts are also available for multiple checks carried out at once.  A list of suppliers can be found under 'useful links' below.


Cut Price Vehicle Inspections


A vehicle purchase is to most people their second largest purchase after their home.  If your not a expert with cars or you wish to buy in confidence you might want to carry out a vehicle inspection.


Inspections are usually carried out at the vendor address and should include a full road test, inspection of the vehicle's body, paintwork, interior, visible mechanical and electrical components and equipment.  The price varies depending on the number of checks carried out and also the type of vehicle being inspected, dependant on age and engine size. 


Both RAC and the AA offer vehicle inspection services which will provide you with a written & verbal report as to the vehicle road worthiness and any faults with the vehicle. 


Your not limited to the breakdown services to carry out your inspection.  Ring your local main dealer, and they will usually be able to provide you with the same service at a fraction of the cost.  Usually they charge between 1 and 2 hours labour (65 to 125 per hour) and will be able to provide you with a full inspection report.  Your local specialist mechanic will likely be even cheaper but ensure they have the correct diagnostic equipment and you are confident in their opinion.


Useful Links


Car Data Checks

Vehicle Inspections

  • - RAC offers three types of pre-purchase inspection: from 125 for members for the essential checks up to 379 for non members for the fully comprehensive check for non members.

  • - From 119 for members (133 for non-members) for the basic check.  Up to 328 for a comprehensive inspection for a 4x4.

Other Tips

  • If purchasing a vehicle from a motor trader they should have already carried out a report.  Ask to see a copy of it and if in doubt, verify the report by calling the company directly.  Don't just take the dealers word for it!

  • You should ensure you provide as much information as possible so that you receive the full level of insurance cover.   Your data check may not bring any alerts to your attention but don't forget to check the details on the report against that on the car, not just on the documentation (such as chassis number).

  • Beware of sellers, both private and trade.  If they do not allow you to carry out a vehicle inspection.  They are likely hiding to be something.

  • It is common your vehicle inspection will return some faults.  Be realistic about your expectations and use this as a bargaining tool to see if you can get the sale price reduced to cover the repairs or insist the vendor carries the repairs out.  Don't feel you have to proceed with the sale because you have already committed to the expense of the report.  If the list of faults is endless, consider the report money well spent as these are things you would have had to folk out on later.

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When you buy an AA Car Data Check you will get 15 off an AA Vehicle Inspection and will automatically qualify for a member discount.


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