HPI's latest league table of the most commonly stolen light commercial vehicles (LCVs) confirms that the Ford Transit is still top of the thieves' shopping list. But close behind are the Mercedes Sprinter and Mitsubishi L200. Stolen, clocked, cloned, written-off or still on finance are just some of the many pitfalls to catch-out the unsuspecting van buyer, warns the vehicle information expert, HPI.
"It's not just van owners that need to be concerned about which LCVs are most commonly stolen; used van buyers also need to consider the risks," explains Daniel Burgess, managing director for HPI. "Thieves will be looking to sell vans on to innocent buyers, so the general public and van dealers must be on their guard. Dealers who unwittingly buy a stolen van not only face losing the van and the money they paid for it, should it be returned to the van's legal owner, but put their reputation on the line should they innocently sell on that van to a customer who then faces financial loss."
"1 in 4 vans checked has something to hide, but used van buyers can avoid risks by simply carrying out an HPI Check, which will uncover the vehicle's history and confirm if there is anything untoward about the vehicle that needs investigating."
Outstanding finance also continues to be a major risk with around 1 in 8 vans checked with HPI still on a finance agreement. Again, van owners could find themselves losing both the van and the money they paid for it, if the legal owner reclaims the vehicle.
1 in 17 vans are likely to have been involved in an accident and declared a total loss, otherwise known as a write-off, by an insurance company. Some insurance write-offs can be legitimately repaired by professionals and returned to the road, but many are damaged so badly they should only be scrapped.
Burgess concludes. "It's essential that used van buyers are aware of the risks and don't get taken in by criminals and dishonest sellers. The HPI Check will tell a dealer whether their potential purchase has been stolen, written-off, had a plate change, might be clocked or is on outstanding finance, offering valuable peace of mind for them and their customers."