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Hidden Vehicle History – Buying Advice

In the UK, a warning has been issued by vehicle history check experts HPI, about the hidden administrative risks when buying a used car.

The latest survey reveals that a staggering 42% of used car buyers don’t know who legally owns a car that has finance owing on it. The truth is that a vehicle with outstanding finance belongs to the finance house, which has the legal right to repossess that vehicle at anytime, without warning; 1 in 4 cars checked by HPI are subject to outstanding finance.

Nearly a quarter of those surveyed (23%) assumed the car belongs to the person named on the vehicle’s Log Book, highlighting the extent of misconception amongst consumers.   The good news for consumers buying from a dealer is, that if they later discover the vehicle is on finance and repossessed, they will be protected by Innocent Purchaser Protection (IPP) and will be able to get back their money and buy another car.

HPI recommends that you always conduct a vehicle history check BEFORE you buy, it will tell you if the car has outstanding finance against it and enables you to ensure that the finance agreement is concluded before you complete the purchase.

In Spain, similar checks can be conducted through the website of the traffic department, the DGT, via www.dgt.es.

On the front page of the website, under “Trámites y multas”, you will see a link that reads “Informe del Vehículo”. There are many other useful links too, all which are worthwhile looking into, but it is this “Vehicle report” that we are concentrating on here.

20150505 - Hidden Vehicle History

The vehicle registry in Spain is managed by the DGT, but the information contained in the database is available to members of the public who have a legitimate reason for requesting the data.

If you know the vehicle number plate or chassis number, you can find out such details as the vehicle Ownership, specifications, number of previous owners, administrative status and ITV expiration date.

Your identification by means of a digital certificate needs to be provided in order to obtain the information on record; this might prove a hurdle to none Spanish speakers, but on on-line translator such as Google can help with most of the content.

There is a small administration fee for obtaining the information, which can be paid for by credit or debit card. Although that fee is considerably lower than the financial risk of purchasing a car that has a dubious history, or has sanctions in place against it.


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