Bought a car without checking for HPI?
The dangers of buying a vehicle in good faith without checking for HPI
Samuel Lane recently helped a client who had come into possession of a vehicle that had been passed to her following the unfortunate loss of her husband. She had received a strongly worded solicitor’s letter advising her that a finance company was the owner of the vehicle, and that either the remaining finance needed to be repaid or the vehicle should be returned. This, obviously, came as a shock, as Sam's client knew that her late husband had purchased the vehicle without finance.
After some investigation, it turned out that her late husband had purchased the vehicle through an online advertisement, without checking for HPI. The HPI check would have shown that the vehicle had finance outstanding on it when he bought it. Unfortunately, Sam's client didn't have any details of the person or company who sold the vehicle to her husband.
Sam was able to advise his client that, as a private purchaser, her late husband had bought the vehicle in good faith (without any knowledge of the finance on the vehicle) and consequently, good title of the vehicle passed to him and subsequently to her. He wrote to the finance company’s solicitors advising them of this and referring them to Section 27(2) of the Hire Purchase Act 1964. Sam requested that they acknowledge his client’s good title and remove their client’s financial interest to enable her to sell the vehicle, should she choose to do so.
Eventually, after informing the finance company's solicitors of his intention to make an application for specific performance to remove the financial lien, and also to seek damages due to the loss of residual value of the vehicle, they confirmed Sam's client had good title to the vehicle and removed the financial lien.
Whilst a HPI check should always be carried out before purchasing a vehicle to avoid future problems, failure to do so does not always mean all is lost. Should you have a similar issue or require guidance on any dispute matter, please email Samuel Lane or call him directly on 01384 247982.
Sam's client was delighted with the way he handled her case, commenting : "I was treated with utmost respect and professionalism, and reassured that my case would be sorted and have a favourable outcome . My solicitor Sam Lane and his colleagues were at hand whenever I needed them".