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Friendly tips cost car buyers dear

Model car on coin piles20/1/14

By Mark Stillman

Friends' well-meaning advice can prove costly when it comes to purchasing your next car, a vehicle history specialist has warned.

HPI says that friends can pass down several misconceptions, leading to buyers losing cash on their next vehicle.

Five car-buying myths

There are five myths that convince several used buyers, it claims.

  • The first is "you've paid for the car, so you own it".

This is untrue however, if the vehicle is stolen, as the registered keeper is not the same as the legal owner. In the incidence of a stolen vehicle, the legal owner is the person who it was stolen from and not the innocent party who has purchased it.

  • The next myth is "you need to move quickly to get a bargain".

This is not the case and you should be wary of any vehicle advertised too inexpensively.

  • Myth No. 3 is that "it's illegal to buy a car that has been written off by a car insurance company".

While Category A and B write-offs have to be scrapped, Category C and D write-offs can be put back on the road and sold if they are adequately repaired, though the seller must reveal their status.

  • Another myth is "it's safe to buy from a seller at a mutually convenient place".

It is far better to purchase from the registered keeper's address shown on the V5C logbook. You should search elsewhere if the address on the logbook and where the car is being sold don't tally.

  • The final myth is "you can sell a car on behalf of your husband or wife".

This is not only false, it is also technically selling a stolen vehicle. You must always purchase from the registered keeper on the V5 logbook.

One in three vehicles has a 'hidden history'

Shane Teskey, HPI senior consumer services managers, said: "One in three vehicles checked with HPI have a hidden history.

"And fraudsters are coming up with new tricks all the time, helping them make a fast profit and leaving buyers severely out of profit.

"We urge consumers to use their head and always walk away if a deal feels too good to be true - it probably is."


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