Buying a second-hand car?
Before spending £20 on an HPI used car check, first check MOT history online - at zero cost
When buying a used car, it is a good idea to check full history before splashing out your hard-earned cash. Many people know than an HPI check will provide plenty of car history information such as outstanding finance, mileage discrepancies, insurance write-off check and MOT history. All good stuff to know and arguably well worth the £19.99 that it costs here: https://hpicheck.com/
But... there are some situations where a simple scan of the MOT history of a vehicle before doing an HPI will be enough to raise initial alarm bells or at least provide some points to put to the seller – for example about a suspicious vehicle mileage record, or about necessary work done or not since the last MOT.
As many of us have no doubt experienced, it is quite possible to have an MOT PASS containing plenty of advisory Items – some may be easy to resolve, others could be an indication that the car is going to be less of a bargain than it may at first appear to be.
Here are a few example of the many advisories you could receive in a test report - and still potentially get a MOT PASS:
The good news is that you can check the MOT history of UK vehicles for free at:
- which could not be simpler to use. It looks like this :
As you can see all you need is the registration number. The checker will show annual mileages at each MOT, reason(s) for any MOT FAILs in the vehicle's history - and of course all those advisories (the most recent ones will usually be the most relevant).
This might just save you twenty quid if things start to look bad straight away – or alternatively may provide some handy ammo to negotiate the price down - or an opportunity to ask for proof of any work done to fix any of listed advisories.
Checking MOT history is not a replacement for a full HPI check, but it may just save you wasting £20 on one.
Additional Handy Checks
Another way to access MOT history is to use an app such as Vehicle Smart (available for Android or for iOS) which typically offer similar information for free and also may offer additional premium checking services similar to the HPI check service listed above.
You can also check if there has been any safety recall on the vehicle which has not been fixed at https://www.themotorombudsman.org/vehicle-recalls - you will need to locate the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) .
Another handy checker here https://vehicleenquiry.service.gov.uk/ provides more basic information on the vehicle e.g. vehicle tax and MOT status.
Also, an app I use on Android is Vehicle Smart.
Not too sure if it's on iOS but it's handy to have in the app drawer.
You can save the vehicle to your 'Garage' too, up to 5 vehicles for the basic version of the app.