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David Neal

Watch out for these tricks used by dishonest car sellers

New research has revealed that one in three cars checked by the vehicle information expert HPI had something to hide.

New research has revealed that one in three cars checked by the vehicle information expert HPI had something to hide.

Unscrupulous sellers utilise a host of creative ways to mis-sell a cars to unsuspecting drivers. The 2011 study identified the top tricks used by dishonest sellers.

"It's alarming to see used car buyers are still exposed to danger when looking to invest their hard-earned cash in a new set of wheels. Yet, with an HPI Check report, there's no need to take that risk,” explained Kristian Welch, Consumer Director for HPI.

The HPI study found that more than 19 stolen vehicles are uncovered every day through their checks. Criminals use tricks like ‘cloning' (disguising the identity of a stolen car by using the identity of another legitimate car) to sell stolen vehicles, effectively cancelling out the driver's purchase.

In addition, the research on over 10 million vehicles**, **found that one in twenty vehicles had had their mileage altered.

"Dodgy sellers see clocking as an easy way to push up the price of their vehicle. So buyers need to watch out for cars with mileage that's going backwards,” HPI commented.

Experts reminded UK drivers that ignoring the real mileage of a car could lead to a risk of missing critical maintenance checks, such as full servicing or important replacements.

In addition, 4% of the cars checked by HPI were recorded as an insurance ‘total loss' or write-off. Welch warned that while some damaged cars can be safely repaired and returned to the road, others will only be fit for scrap.

**Comparing cars and **car insurance

With family budgets being pushed to the limit, consumers won't want to waste even more money on purchasing faulty cars.

To put even more in their savings pots, it's essential that consumers compare car insurance premiums and conditions.