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Horror buys: 1 in 3 cars rotten!

2013-10-29 15:03

TRICK OR TREAT: One in three cars usually have something to hide, especially by dodgy salesman, says HPI. Image: SHUTTERSTOCK


VIDEO: How to buy a used car

2013-08-27 10:30

The Guardian’s Miles Brignall outlines the most common financial pitfalls of buying a second-hand vehicle. He advises readers on getting the best value for money, how to avoid dodgy deals and whether it's worth investing in a used-car warranty.

‘Double, double toil and trouble’… don’t get spooked into buying a ‘Hallowe'en horror’ - a study shows that one in three cars should be chucked into a cauldron.

It’s witching season and according to HPI, a UK vehicle information company, dodgy used-car sales folk are up to all sorts of during Hallowe'en.

HPI said that one in three used cars (in the UK) checked had something to hide and issued a warning that buyers should have their wits about them to avoid the risk of buying a nightmare on wheels, at ANY time. The same applies to car-hunters in South Africa.


HPI operations director Phil Peace said: “Buying a used car won’t to turn into a horror story if buyers take the right steps. Used-car fraudsters have more tricks than treats up their sleeves, leaving people with the risk of paying retail value for a car that could be stolen, written-off or still on outstanding finance.

“Clocking is also a major problem, as unscrupulous sellers turn back the mileage to push up the price on their vehicle.”

The consumer company which provides vehicle information to car buyers said there were many Jekyll-and-Hyde vehicles out on the roads, with crooks using tricks such as cloning to disguise the identity of a stolen vehicle with that of a legitimate car.


HPI claimed more than 30 stolen vehicles were uncovered every day in the UK through checks done within the company. Anybody who buys a stolen vehicle could lose their money when it is returned to its rightful owner.

Peace explained: “These long, dark nights in the UK offer the perfect cover for less-than-honest car-sellers looking to pull a fast one so buyers should always view a vehicle in daylight. Under the cover of dusk and darkness, it’s a lot harder to notice tell-tale signs of damaged bodywork, even more so if it has been raining."

They also try it in the bright South African sunshine.

"Buyers should also be looking under the bonnet and checking that the chassis numbers match each other and the car documents, so good viewing conditions are essential to uncover the skeletons in a vehicle’s closet."
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