Buyers beware! That's the message from car history check firm HPI, which has launched an industry-wide crackdown on businesses which are exploiting its name.
The car history checking service has warned drivers that unscrupulous businesses are exploiting its name and fraudulently offering HPI authentication. The company has appeared to have fallen victim to its own success and the acronym has become a generic term among used car dealers for kosher paper work.
"There are plenty of other excellent service providers on the market, but there are many who aren't," commented the HPI managing director.
"Not only are they conducting business illegitimately under the HPI name but they rarely provide the same quality of data that we do."
The most cursory of internet searches quickly turns up many companies offering fraudulent HPI checks, and the company has taken out ads in the trade press warning that unauthorised use of the name is illegal.
HPI's role in the second-hand car market is crucial. It provides private car buyers, car dealers, finance houses, and the insurance industry with access to information on all UK registered vehicles. Using HPI ensures that vehicles are legal and will really belong to the people who buy them.