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Used-car buyer 'must check history'

Thursday December 29th 2011

Anyone thinking of buying someone a vehicle as a gift needs to carry out the proper finance-history checks to avoid the risk of it being seized by a credit company, according to an industry firm.

A quarter of all vehicles are still locked in finance agreements, car-history specialist HPI said.

The nightmare scenario is for someone to be given a car as a Christmas present, only to have it confiscated by the finance company which still owns it under the deal agreed with the previous owner.

HPI's Nicola Johnson said: "Santa will be delivering a car as a gift to the garage or driveway of some lucky drivers this Christmas. But despite it being the festive season, buyers should still proceed with caution.

"According to the latest analysis of HPI data, nearly one in four vehicles checked by HPI is still on finance, meaning it belongs to the finance house. Anyone who buys a car on finance stands to lose the car and the money they paid for it when it's returned to the lender.

She added: "The tough economic climate means this is the biggest threat to used-car buyers but this isn't the only risk facing consumers shopping for a bargain set of wheels."

Copyright © Press Association 2011

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