Check outstanding finance on a car

Don’t most of us dread car-buying?

Stressful, overwhelming, and anxiety-provoking are just some feelings our customers describe during the process of buying a new car.

There are so many choices to make a significant financial investment that isn’t easily reversed.

Attn existing customers:
Does your CarVeto report say that finance is outstanding?

Jump ahead: Sorting a car finance check before you buy

Buying a car with finance on it.

Check outstanding finance on a car

Enter a registration plate below for a CarVeto HPI finance check

Hidden history

Millions of cars on the road today have problems. Of the hundreds of thousands we check each year, around 1 in 3 have alert status baked in!

Alerts are factors that impede:

Vehicle safety, money and finances, legality. Sometimes, all three.

It puts a weight on private car buyers who want peace of mind. It’s simple to navigate issues if you know what to look for.

Put the odds in your favour

Your new car is likely to be in the top three spends you’ll ever make.

To minimise the risk of buying into problems, CarVeto vehicle check reveals the entire history of any car, motorcycle or light-commercial registered with DVLA.

CarVeto HPI finance check.

Sorting an outstanding finance check

Is the car you want to buy already on finance?

Put on the brakes and follow our directions.

Knowingly selling a car privately with an outstanding finance check is against the law.

Whether the seller has forgotten to mention it, is confused about what to do or is trying to hide the fact, the car on finance belongs to the lending company and not the private seller.

Buying from a trader?

There is a different rule for an outstanding finance alert via a dealer

How can I buy the car legally if it has finance on it?

An up-to-date CarVeto vehicle history check discloses the outstanding finance details. It includes:

  • The finance company
  • Their contact details
  • The car finance reference number
  • The type of agreement (often referred to as Hire Purchase)
  • The car registration number, including the VIN or engine number


Directions for fixing a car finance check alert:

Step 1

Call the lending company and check their instructions on how to buy the car legally.

It usually involves the seller (who should also be the DVLA registered keeper) calling the lender for an up-to-date settlement figure and paying the debt in full.

Once the loan is paid off, the finance company produces a settlement letter stating the vehicle belongs to the seller, who can sell on to you right away.

CarVeto updates car finance check details in 30-day cycles. We rely on the Asset Register to renew their information before we update our system.

Always get a copy of the settlement letter

Step 2

An accurate and up-to-date settlement letter is your proof the car is legal and available to buy.

Don’t buy without it.

Dealers and outstanding finance

Referred to as Stocking Loans or Unit Stocking

You can relax a little if you’re buying from a car dealership. In almost all cases, when a car has outstanding finance from a trader, you are OK to buy without taking any precautions.

Plenty of dealers have arrangements with finance companies who offer extensive loans for dealers to fill up the forecourts.

When the dealer sells a car via Stocking Finance, the loan is paid off right away and reinvested into another vehicle. Check our complete dealers Unit Stocking & Finance guide.

The CarVeto database flags these types of loans, so expect to see an alert or warning status as part of your CarVeto car history check.


Talk to the dealership

Let them know that your CarVeto Hpi Check has flagged up outstanding finance. Consider asking them for a letter that states the vehicle is no longer on finance and is legal for you to buy.

It’s not a mandatory requirement like a private purchase but may ease your discomfort, nonetheless.

An extra layer of insurance would be to call the lending company directly and ask them for written proof the car is legal to buy. Check your CarVeto certificate for contact details.

Outstanding finance on a car you have already bought?

I have already bought a car with outstanding finance and don’t know what to do

If you didn’t know about the outstanding finance check, before you bought the car, take a breath with some relief.

Good Title‘ means you bought the car with good faith and had no prior knowledge of a loan against it. You are the legal owner.

Car finance companies owned money from unpaid loans

There’s no doubt, the finance provider who has an active finance agreement want it paid off. So expect them to get in touch with you about the vehicle, requesting settlement.

Your ‘Good Title’ leaves it up to the finance company to prove the fact.

Proactive steps for dealing with the finance company

If the finance company contact you, it’s good to be proactive and respond. You’ve nothing to hide and have a genuine ‘Good Title’, demonstrating your openness and willingness to cooperate.

Making a call or email to explain the circumstances is a practical step. The latter is preferable, so you have a paper trail of correspondence.

Include the vehicle details, date of purchase (check the DVLA log book for the exact date), and the previous owner’s details, if you have them.

It’s also worth searching up the old car advert, as it might be live for some time after the date of sale. If so, grab a screenshot and save it to your phone or computer.

Finally, if you have proof of purchase via a receipt or certificate of sale, take a snap of it to include in your opening conversation.

Contact the previous owner

It’s a good idea to contact the seller. Once again, look to keep a paper trail of correspondence.

Prepare for a tricky correspondence with the seller, who could act defensively if they recall the finance agreement and avoid responsibility.

Should you have bought the car from any business, there is a range of Consumer Rights that are worth knowing before initiating contact.

Wrapping it up

There’s an outstanding finance agreement, although you are not liable.

Perhaps the lender will demand that you make monthly payments or settle the loan in full.

Be open and transparent in your responses, and remind them of your ‘Good Title’.

The lender may attempt to recover the car or costs. In that case, send a formal complaint to the finance company and get in touch with the Financial Ombudsman and Citizens Advice.

Perhaps the worst-case scenario is to seek legal advice from a solicitor, who can advise about your rights and any legal actions to repossess your car or cash.

Download your CarVeto HPI Check that includes the date of purchase and full car details.