My Car Check's Gold and Platinum car finance checks can help to ensure that your next car doesn't come with an outstanding finance agreement.

Of the 32 million vehicles on our roads, around a quarter are on finance. Is money still owed on the car you're considering purchasing?

There are several popular types of vehicle finance, including Hire Purchase (HP), Lease, Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) and Bill of Sale.

The experts at My Car Check's UK-based contact centre can cut through the jargon to establish what these agreements mean for you as a used car buyer.

What's more, if our car finance check highlights outstanding finance, we will liaise with the relevant finance company to confirm the current status of the agreement.

Roger Powell, Head of CDL Vehicle Information Services, which owns My Car Check, said: "As well as confirming if a car has been written off or stolen, a major part of our service these days is checking whether a vehicle is clear of debt."

Until a secured agreement balance is settled in full the vehicle will usually remain the property of the finance company. What's more, finance companies can be within their rights to seize a vehicle back, so establishing the finance status of a potential purchase is vital.

Outstanding finance is an increasingly pressing issue. 32% of all car finance checks conducted by our Glasgow call centre during February 2015 still carried outstanding debt.

It is surprisingly common for sellers to try and sell vehicles with money owing on them. Some do this knowing it is illegal, others wrongly believe that if they keep up the payments everything will be fine. Such activity, termed 'sub-hiring', is fraud. Simply put, it is not their vehicle to sell.

There are also a host of scams based on "you pay me in full and I'll pay the finance off" promises. Please exercise extreme caution in such circumstances.

At My Car Check we adhere to the Finance and Leasing Association’s best practice guide. We also work with the Consumer Credit and Trade Association, the governing body for non-prime lenders.

If you have any queries regarding our car finance checks, or outstanding finance on a vehicle you're considering purchasing, please call us on 0330 331 0030. Our expert customer service team can run a thorough car finance check and will investigate further if required.