It looks clean but does this motorbike have a hidden past?
In this guide, we’ve highlighted the pros and cons of all the different motorcycle history checking services, from the free to the paid for. In short, the free and text-checking services are a waste of time as all their info is already freely available on government and DVLA websites.
Of the proper options, The AA, HPI and RAC all offer a financial guarantee should the bike turn out to not be what it said it was. We’ve explained what all the different services offer and picked our best HPI check service, so you can confidently buy your next dream bike.
An HPI check started life as a check to see if a vehicle had outstanding finance. HPI stands for Hire Purchase Investigation but since those early days it has evolved to cover everything from whether a vehicle has been stolen, scrapped, written off or clocked.
Performed by a specialist HPI company, they highlight any potentially detrimental information about a vehicle.
A true HPI check will query professional databases of the police, the DVLA and credit companies to ascertain the history of a vehicle.
The free or text-checking ‘HPI’ checks aren’t HPI checks at all (most are billed as Vehicle History Checks) and they just send you data you could Google yourself, for free. Save your cash.
Buying a second-hand motorbike involves a certain amount of risk, especially if you’re buying a bike privately. Whether you are buying a bike with cash or using finance to help fund your purchase, you want to know that the bike you are buying is worth every penny you are paying for it.
Criminals are getting very clever with stolen bikes and can easily convert a stolen bike into a ‘legitimate’ bike, with a convincing V5 log book and ‘factory’ keys that work with the bike’s immobiliser. The numbers will all tally up but it’ll be a clone of a genuine bike that’s out there somewhere. An HPI check will spot this.
Buy without an HPI check and you could make the finance agreement invalid or present legal ownership problems buy buying a ringer. A proper HPI check covers you for up to £30,000 so you know you’re in safe hands.
The longest-established HPI checking service. HPI’s check provides more information about the motorcycle you want to buy than any other check. The in-depth document provides over 80 different data points for each motorcycle in an easy-to-understand report. The check is instant and their data is backed by a £30,000 guarantee.
|Provider||The AA||The RAC||HPI||Free Government Check||£1.99 Text Check (mycarcheck)|
|Date first registered|
|Is there outstanding finance?|
|Finance company’s details|
|Engine number and size|
|VIN (chassis) number|
|Is it recorded as stolen?|