HPI Checks Explained: The Issues They Uncover

HPI checks can be an invaluable tool for those looking to purchase a second-hand car. Testing the vehicle for everything from associated debts to condition, they allow buyers to make a fully-informed decision before putting their money on the table.

So what exactly do they cover, and how can this benefit you?

Make and Model

One of the first and most basic parts of a HPI test is the performance of a DVLA vehicle check, which confirms the specific make and model of the car in question, as well as examining derivatives, the number of doors, engine size, vehicle age, and number of previous owners.

Stolen Status

Of course, the test covers far more than these basics, and will also ensure that the vehicle you’re interested in is not listed as stolen. This information is checked against the Police National Computer, and means that you’re not at risk of buying a car that could be taken back by the original owner at any time.


The tests carried out by companies like HPI Check have the additional benefit of making sure that if the car was previously purchased through a finance arrangement, the debt has been fully paid off and is not outstanding. If you don’t get it checked, and later out find out that this is the case, your vehicle could be seized in lieu of the money owed.


When cars are written off, they are classified as either A, B, C, or D. Vehicles labelled as the two former letters are never allowed back on the road, whereas the latter categories are. In these cases, a HPI check will make sure that the proper assessments have been carried out before re-sale so that you and anyone else driving or travelling in the car is kept safe.

Registration Plate Transfers

A HPI check will also take a look at whether the car has had its number plate changed at any point. Although this can be done for purely cosmetic reasons, it means that any prior problems on another plate cannot be covered up.


HPI checks will also take a look at the car’s mileage, measuring it against its system to ensure its legitimacy. This means that if the vehicle has been illegally clocked you’ll be able to find out before you buy.

The next time that you upgrade your motor, make sure that your decision is the right one: carry out a HPI check so that you know exactly what you’re signing up for.

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