Every year thousands of people buy second hand cars that have hidden secrets. Many problems can lead to the buyer often being thousands of pounds out of pocket or buyers putting themselves at serious risk of harm.
Problems can include:
Lowered mileage (often known as ‘clocking’) Nearly 10% of vehicles Data checked have a mileage discrepancy. If you buy a "clocked" vehicle you will most likely be paying more than the car is worth because the car has driven more miles than declared. This can also have huge implications on future mechanical reliability of the car.
Serious accident damage or cars being "written off" but not declared by the seller. Thousands of cars every year are involved in accidents. Many are so badly damaged that insurers declare them "written off". This means the cars can’t be repaired safely or economically and so the vehicle should then be scrapped.
However, some of these vehicles still find their way back onto the roads, often after botched repairs. Sometimes to the untrained eye the repair looks sound, however if not there is a real danger to anyone that drives them.
Stolen or cloned. Hundreds of vehicles a day are identified as stolen by the Auto Data checks. Auto Data check sites source information from the Police National Computer to find out if the vehicle subject of the search is recorded stolen.
A clone is a stolen car which has its identity changed to copy that of a legitimate vehicle. This can hide the true identity of the stolen vehicle and without the right checks can be very difficult to spot. Thieves will alter vehicle registration papers and identifying characteristics on the vehicle itself eg. Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) plates. This is the vehicle equivalent of identity fraud. There will effectively be two cars driving round with the same identity, however only one of them is legitimate.
Note. if a vehicle has been stolen but recovered without damage, Auto Data checks will not display this unless the vehicle has been "written off" because of the theft. In this case this will flag under "write off" not "stolen".
Vehicles incorrectly described. Auto Data checks will give you the true identity of the vehicle you are looking to buy. When vehicles are manufactured they are declared a certain specification, eg. engine size, trim, age. Imagine if you buy what you think is a bargain used car thinking that it has all sorts of technical specification, just to find it is in fact a basic version with a fake badge on it and 5 years older than declared.
Vehicles can still be on finance with unpaid debt. If a loan remains unpaid on the vehicle when it changes hands, you could lose the car or the money owing on the loan. Dependant on how much you have bought the car for, you could lose your money and the car as well.