Online marketplace Gumtree has launched a car buying and selling guide, The Inside Track, advising car buyers to use an HPI provenance check when buying a car.

Conversion fraud, where a user sells a car with existing finance on it, has been made relatively accessible by the proliferation of online classified advert sites, such as Gumtree and auction sites such as Ebay.

In 2015, Andy Thomas, director of recoveries and litigation for motor finance at Moneybarn revealed that approximately 40% of asset conversion fraud for vehicles it had financed was done via websites such as these.

Alongside the launch of the guide, Gumtree asked 2,000 people what some of the challenges they faced when shopping for a car were. 46% said identifying problems with the car was a challenge. 31% said knowing the cars history, which underlined the importance of HPI checks when buying a car via a site such as Gumtree.

Morten Heuing, general manager at Gumtree admitted that the company’s own research showed many people were uninformed about best practises when buying or selling a car.  He added: “A car is an important purchase that should be carefully considered, so we wanted to bring all these disparate bits of information and intelligence under one roof called ‘The Inside Track’. As the leading private car marketplace we’re certain The Inside Track will become an indispensable guide for the millions of people who visit our Motors section every month.”

Aside from advising customers looking to buy a car to conduct an HPI check, the guide also provides a car budget calculator, a car cost calculator, a guide on various methods for paying for a car, and various other bits of general advice on the car buying process.

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Currently the guide is located in its own ‘Inside Track’ section of the website; however a spokesperson said the company was looking at how to best present the guide to users.