Motor Industry News
The cost of checking a car's history may have plummeted in the past 12 months but three of the four firms behind the service still won't tell buyers all they need to know.
Just a year ago car checks cost as much as £40 each with some companies but thanks to a recent round of price cuts, mycarcheck.com is now offering a comprehensive check for £4.99 - the cheapest on the market.
About 10m cars change hands in the UK each year, of which only a quarter are bought new. That means over 7.5m people a year buy used cars... and eight out of ten rely on the 'honesty' of the seller to tell them about the vehicle's past.
"As crashes and theft should affect not only the potential buyer's decision but also the price of the vehicle, I find it staggering that 6m people are prepared to part with large amounts of money without knowing exactly what they are buying and without any guarantees," said Roger Powell, General Manager of mycarcheck.com.
mycarcheck.com is the only vehicle history company that automatically tells its clients if the car they are thinking of buying has been stolen and recovered, regardless of whether it was damaged while out of its owner's care. The other firms will only tell customers if the car was seriously damaged or written-off by insurers when stolen.
"It's important to know if the car was stolen and recovered because only the thief knows what that car was used for," said Mr Powell.
"It could have been cloned, used in robberies or an abduction, in a drive-by shooting or it could have been used to ship drugs into the country and the first the buyer knows of it is when they get dragged off for a full-body search by Custom officers because the sniffer dogs have shown an interest!" said Mr Powell.
He said there was also a strong chance that the thief could still have a key to the recovered car, making it vulnerable to being stolen a second or third time, particularly if it was a high-performance car. About 350,000 vehicles are stolen in the UK each year, of which only about half (175,000) are recovered.
mycarcheck.com is owned by CDL of Stockport, the insurance software specialists, who perform over 1m data checks per month.