The HPI report - your safeguard & what the dealer sees

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Why HPI is important

The purpose of this guide is to explain what the dealer HPI report shows and what it means.

HPI is the Uk's longest established and best known vehicle check company.

It's role in the second-hand car market is crucial. It provides private car buyers, car dealers, finance houses, and the insurance industry with access to information on all UK registered vehicles. Using HPI ensures that vehicles are:

  • Legal
  • Not stolen
  • Not accident damaged
  • Clear of finance

and will really belong to the people who buy them!


What the dealer sees

As a private buyer you can apply to HPI for the report on your own car, or a car which you are interested in buying. The cost for this can be anything up to around £40 and comes in a glossy brochure with lots of pretty pictures and marketing blurb. 
The bona-fide dealer who has a trade account with HPI has a different facility whereby he can go online and get an instant report of any vehicle. This is essentially the same information that you would receive as a private buyer, but is presented differently.
The dealer report is a single page with symbols at the top which are either annotated with a "1" or a "0", or a "Yes" or "No" to indicate the status - "1" means there is an issue, and "0" means all-clear.

The various symbols and their meanings are shown below:

  • Vehicle ID           Do the registration number and chassis number check out?
  • Plate transfer      Has the car had a plate change during it's life e.g. a cherished number?
  • Security watch    Has there been any suspicious activity concerning the documentation for the car?
  • Stolen                 Does the registration number and chassis number check out?
  • Finance               Is there any outstanding HP or other finance?
  • Condition Alert     Has the vehicle been writte-off or sustained major damage?
  • Condition Theft     Has the vehicle been recorded as stolen?

The report also details further information taken from the V5 data recorded at DVLA:

Any professional motor dealer should be able to provide a prospective customer with this report, and as a matter of course Toptemple provides this information in all our eBay listings.

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