News release

Serj Heera
Press Relations Executive, Automotive & Insurance
+44 (0) 115 976 8945 Tel Email

Dealers’ reputations at risk due to absent information, warns Experian

Nottingham, UK, 4 April 2008 - Nearly a third of the population would seriously consider never going back to a used car dealer if they discovered that certain information relating to the history of the car they had bought had not been revealed, even if this history did not affect the value or the safety of the car.

A recent survey by Experian®, the global information services company, found that nearly half the population (46 per cent) would want to know whether a used car had ever been stolen and recovered in its history, even if there had been no damage to it, and 30 per cent would seriously reconsider ever going back to the dealer in question if they found out at a later date.

All major provenance service providers give dealers a range of information relating to the ‘current’ status of a used car.  This includes alerting dealers to vehicles that are registered as stolen.  However, if a vehicle that had been stolen was then recovered and returned to its owner, the evidence of it ever having been stolen is removed.

At present, Experian is the only major provider of vehicle status checks that highlights cars that have previously been stolen and recovered, with its recently launched AutoCheck Timeline.  Other service providers do not include this information, because it does not affect the value or the safety of the car once it has been recovered and so is not considered a risk for the purchaser. 

Kirk Fletcher, Managing Director of Experian’s Automotive division, said: “The survey found that 43 per cent of the population expects a dealer to know whether a car had ever been stolen then recovered and with almost half the population wanting to have this information before making a decision, it is something dealers really do need to consider.

“It was particularly interesting to see that for 79 per cent of the population, the knowledge that a car had been stolen and recovered in the past would not completely deter them from buying it nor would they expect to pay less for a car that had previously been stolen (88 per cent).

“This is really important for dealers, because it suggests that while the presence of this information may have a small impact on a consumer’s decision to actually buy the car, the lack of it, however, would have a far greater impact on the reputation of the dealer.  With the market being saturated with used cars and the Internet giving cautious spenders even greater choice, dealers can’t afford to lose customers nor damage their reputations over a piece of information that can be supplied quite easily.”

AutoCheck Timeline lists all the events that have affected a vehicle from the moment it was registered in a clear and easy-to-view chronological timeline that can be presented to customers.  Experian’s AutoCheck is also the only service at present to include other key information valuable to a used car buyer, such as the Environmental Report, which reveals the CO2 emission data on a used vehicle, as well as Vehicle Excise Duty payable over a period of either six or 12 months.

Kirk concluded: “It’s all about knowledge.  Consumers want all the information about a potential purchase to hand before making a decision to buy and the easier a used car dealer makes it for the customer, the greater chance they have of making a sale.”

The findings are based on a survey carried out by Experian of 1500 adults during March 2008.


The word 'Experian' is a registered trademark in the EU and other countries and is owned by Experian Ltd and/or its associated companies.

About Experian’s Automotive division
Experian's Automotive division provides powerful data insight to organisations within the automotive industry, including manufacturers, motor retailers, motor finance companies and insurance providers.  It also works with carefully selected partners to deliver information direct to consumers.

Experian’s risk management products provide clients with an independent assessment of vehicles, prospective business partners and customers and potential and existing employees.   Powerful customer insight also enables these clients to accurately target the hottest customers and prospects using the most cost effective channels.

Experian’s Automotive division works with over 80 per cent of the AM 100 and Motor Trader Top 200 enabling them to manage the risks and maximise the opportunities that face their businesses every day.