Norwich Union (NU) has acquired vehicle information provider HPI for £120m from Phoenix Equity Partners.

HPI provides vehicle status checks for used car purchases in the UK. NU said the company had approximately 60% market share within the UK.

NU said the acquisition would support the insurer's strategy of growing its non-core insurance business and becoming a one-stop-shop for motorists.

The insurer recently purchased motor sales business and launched a roadside assistance service, Norwich Union Rescue.

Norwich Union Insurance chief executive Patrick Snowball said: “The acquisition of HPI illustrates our determination to grow our non-insurance business by developing solutions-based products and services for our customers.

“It will provide us with greater access to capture new customers at a key stage in their purchasing decision, since buying a new car is the second biggest trigger point for people to change their insurer.

“HPI will also enable us to combine existing information to better target customers in the motor insurance market.

“In future, we'll also be looking at ways in which we can apply HPI's experience in managing data to our household insurance products and services.”

HPI, which sources data from government agencies, industry bodies, private organisations, the police and general public, will continue to operate with the same management team and will continue using the HPI brand.

Its 200-strong workforce, based at the company's offices in Salisbury and Harrogate, would continue to work for HPI and their roles would be unaffected by the acquisition, said NU.