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The most reliable way to determine whether any used car has outstanding finance is to carry out a car registration check or a vehicle history check. This check lets you know the necessary details about the car, along with information about any debts on the vehicle. You can request a car registration or history check from the dealer or find a suitable check service yourself.
Buying a used vehicle with outstanding finance does not put you on the wrong side of the law. Whether you want to conduct an outstanding finance check before you purchase a car or not, is totally up to you. However, it is illegal for someone to sell a car with outstanding finance. So, if you find out that the vehicle has outstanding finance issues, you should know the seller is dishonest. The seller needs to pay off any remaining payments on the car before they can put it out for purchase. Therefore, if you do end up with a car having outstanding finance, it is not illegal for you, although it can cause you a whole lot of financial trouble down the road.
It is quite possible to lose your vehicle after your purchase. The reason is when you purchase a car with outstanding finance, you cannot get its ownership − it remains with the finance company until the debt is paid off. Finance providers will not ask for the remaining payments from you since the loan is still under the original owner. Instead, they may attempt to repossess the car from you. So, even after you pay for a vehicle with outstanding finance, you are at great risk of losing the vehicle. That’s why it is very crucial to conduct an outstanding finance check before buying a used car, doesn’t matter if you are purchasing from a dealership or a private seller.
You can certainly purchase a car despite its outstanding finance; however, there are just a few extra steps to go through. For example, you must arrange an additional payment for the owner to cover any remaining debts on the car. You can request the seller to have the finance company directly send you a pay-out quote. The process is straightforward and trustworthy, and you can easily pay off the financier and clear all remaining payments. Purchasing a vehicle without ensuring all previous debts have been paid off is not a good idea at all. At the same time, it might seem like an easier option, but it can cause several legal and financial problems down the road.
Deciding to purchase a car without carrying out an outstanding finance check can lead you down a very risky path. It is possible that the vehicle you have purchased is completely clean with no financial risks associated with it. On the other hand, you can get a call from the finance company informing you about a huge sum of remaining debts. In that case, you will need to rectify the situation before it gets too serious. Before you do anything, get professional legal advice. The finance provider can claim ownership of the car and take it away from you. You will need legal assistance to prove that you are innocent and that you didn’t know about the outstanding finance when you purchased the car. However, it is very likely that the finance company won’t believe you, eventually leading to your car being taken away. To avoid issues like these down the line, it’s crucial that you get a complete outstanding finance check for any car you’re about to buy.
Before you purchase a car, it is likely that your insurance company will be able to pay the settlement fee to the financier. Many insurance policies contain a provision that permits paying off claim settlement funds to a finance company. This can work whether you do or do not have knowledge of the car’s outstanding finance situation. However, allowing the insurance company to cover the original owner’s payments will let that person easily escape their debt, which might appear unjust to you.