What is a Total Car Check?

What do we do?

The basics

A Total Car Check will help you reveal the history of a motor vehicle before you purchase it. Sometimes a vehicle history check is referred to as a HPI Check, this term is a trademark of HPI Ltd and is not associated with Total Car Check Ltd in any way.

Can I see an example?

Our reports reveal over 50 data items about the vehicle. You can view our sample report to give you a better idea of what they look like and contain.

Where does the data come from?

You can read in detail all about our data sources. We collect data from the DVLA, insurance companies, police and finance companies as well as lots of other motoring organisations such as the SMMT and the VCA. All of the data is put together to give you the most comprehensive check possible.

Why do you need one?

Before you purchase a used vehicle, you need to know if it's safe to buy. There are lots of facts about a vehicle you need to check before parting with your hard earned cash.

Unscrupulous sellers might try to hide the history of a vehicle in order to increase its value but a Total Car Check can help you uncover these hidden facts.

What does a Total Car Check reveal?

Here are some of the important checks that our reports will reveal:

Outstanding Finance

It is becoming increasingly popular for people to purchase vehicles on finance. Where this happens they do not own the vehicle until the finance is settled. Therefore, if someone tries to sell you a vehicle that has an outstanding finance agreement against it they may not have the legal right to do so. The danger of buying a vehicle with outstanding finance is that the finance company can locate and repossess the vehicle after you have purchased it. You could lose the vehicle and the money you paid for it. A Total Car Check will let you know if there are any recorded finance agreements against the vehicle and highlight these agreements in the report you purchase (Gold report only).


Our reports will be able to tell you if the vehicle you are looking to purchase is recorded as stolen with the police and/or insurance companies. It's a crucial check to ensure you are not about to become the victim of crime. Purchasing a stolen vehicle will mean that ultimately you will have to return the vehicle to its rightful owner, and this means you lose both the vehicle and the money you handed over when you purchased it.

Written Off

Insurance companies sometimes decide that a vehicle is uneconomical to repair, or in more serious cases, cannot be returned to the road because it has been severely damaged. Our reports will highlight if a vehicle has ever been written off by an insurance company. This marker indicates that the vehicle has been involved in an accident or suffered damage.

VIN and Engine Numbers

All of our reports disclose details about the vehicles official VIN and engine number. It is important that you cross reference this data with the actual vehicle to ensure no attempts have been made to disguise or alter the true identity of the vehicle. Often, criminals will change the registration plate of a vehicle in order to attempt to hide its original identity, often where the vehicle has been stolen. Therefore the VIN and Engine numbers are very important in the vehicle buying process.

MOT History

If the vehicle MOT history has been recorded by a DVSA testing station, we will present this information in our reports. It will enable you to see if the vehicle has failed or passed recent MOT's and the reasons for those failures. Sometimes, significant work has to be conducted to rectify MOT failures and this information can assist you in deciding if you wish to purchase a vehicle.

Does a Total Car Check come with any guarantee?

Yes, all of our reports are covered by our Data Guarantee, which gives you total peace of mind when purchasing one of our checks.