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DVLA's Important Check List For Buying A Used Car

Buying a used Car? You Should Do a Registration Check

When you’re buying a used car it’s definitely a case of buyer beware, so you should be sure to check the vehicle’s history before you part with your hard-earned cash. According to HPI, one in three cars they check has a hidden history.

A car registration check, also known as a vehicle history check, should tell you everything you need to know about a car, including how many keepers it’s had, it’s MOT and service history, whether there’s outstanding finance or if it’s ever been written off.

Armed with accurate information about a vehicle you’re considering buying, you can either walk away or use the info to negotiate a lower price. Here’s what you need to know to do a car registration check.

How to Do a Vehicle History Check

Carrying out a vehicle history check used to be a complicated process, but now by using official government websites such as the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), you can easily find out basic information about a car.

The DVLA site enables you to check the MOT and road tax status of the car, while you can check the detailed MOT history of the car with the DVSA. Plenty of companies offer more comprehensive vehicle investigations that allow you to make an informed decision about buying a car.

DVLA Registration Check

The DVLA website is a free and easy to use resource to start your vehicle checks. With just the car’s registration number, you can get basic vehicle information, such as the date of first registration, the colour, engine size and fuel type, and its current tax and MOT status. With this information, you know the car you’re looking at matches the DVLA records.

DVSA MOT History Check

With a free DVSA MOT history check, you can see the results of every MOT test a vehicle has undergone, going back as far as 2005. By entering the car’s registration number, you’ll see whether it passed or failed, what it failed on, the details of any advisories, and the MOT expiry date.

It also shows the car’s mileage at each test, which makes it easy to check the vehicle’s mileometer hasn’t been turned back, or clocked. With the 11-digit number from the car’s V5C log book, you can also see the location where the test was carried out.

HPI Check

HPI (Hire Purchase Investigation) was the UK’s first company to offer detailed vehicle history information. For just £9.99, you can check if a vehicle has outstanding debt or finance, if it’s stolen, an insurance write-off, or been recorded as exported or scrapped. For £19.99, HPI will provide much more in-depth information, such as the number of previous owners, whether the log book has been stolen, and a full number plate change history.

Transferring Personalised Number Plates to Another Vehicle

If you’ve got personalised number plates, it’s easy to transfer them to another vehicle, whether you’re buying a new or used car. If you’ve considered private number plates but haven’t got around to it yet, search our vast CarReg database of available plates for your perfect registration number.

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