Everyone enjoys the anticipation and excitement of buying a car. Before making that all-important decision to buy, though, it is advisable to check that your dream car doesn't have a secret past. Analysis from the vehicle information provider HPI reveals that it uncovers important information on 39 of every 100 cars it checks that could threaten a car's title, value or safety. Outstanding finance is the biggest risk facing used-car buyers, with 24 out of every 100 cars checked in the first six months of this year still being subject to a finance agreement. While this figure has slightly decreased compared with 2004, buyers of used cars need to remain cautious. A vehicle on hire purchase or on a lease agreement still belongs to the lender, and unwary buyers could stand to lose both the car and the money they paid for it.

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