Cartell Reveals Dangers for Car Buyers Who Miss Vehicle History Check


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As car scams continue to rise, Cartell can reveal what potential car buyers should remain mindful of in the purchasing process through a vehicle history check.

Wesley Littleford, Cartell’s Commercial Operations Manager, notes, “A car, even if used, is likely to be one of the biggest purchases a person will ever make. It pays massive dividends to know exactly what you’re getting into before any potential purchase.”

A history check digitally delves back into a car’s records, verifying — or sometimes denying — any claims made by the seller. So, what should you be mindful of when obtaining your car vehicle history check?

Outstanding Finance

Now that second-hand car market values are starting to correct after significant inflation during the pandemic, there’s an opportunity for unscrupulous sellers to try and turn some extra profit during market changes.

Using its extensive motoring marketplace data, Cartell estimates that two-year-old second-hand cars have a 35% chance of still having finance owing, while the rate for three-year-old vehicles is 32%. With complete ownership not transferring until the final payment to a finance provider is made, there is a one-in-three chance that any second-hand car on the market is still, technically, the property of a finance provider.

In some cases, a less honest individual may attempt to sell a car that they do not technically own. Once they stop making their repayments, the finance company will seek to repossess the car — leaving you with no legal recourse and without a vehicle.

Written-Off Cars

As well as providing finance details, a vehicle history check can also reveal if a car has been written off.

Insurers can write off cars for relatively minor damage, which may be adequately repaired, returned to roadworthiness, and sold. However, it’s crucial that the seller discloses this and prices the car accordingly. A written-off car, no matter how well repaired, will always be worth less than a pristine equivalent.

It becomes even more serious with the higher categories of write-offs. Categories C and D can be legally and safely repaired and resold in Ireland. However, if a car has been so severely damaged that it falls into Category B, it can only be dismantled for parts, and only the undamaged parts may be sold and reused. If a car is damaged to the extent of being a Category A, then it’s legally required to be crushed and not even used for spares.

Equipped With All The Facts

With any car being such a significant purchase, it pays to ensure you’re making your decision with all the right facts. The simple version of all this advice is easy – get any car you’re considering checked to save yourself any regrets down the road.