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The Importance of a Used Car Check

When you’re planning to buy a used car, it’s important to check the vehicle’s status and history. The small cost of getting a car check can help you to avoid making a costly mistake by buying a vehicle that might be illegal or potentially dangerous. The easiest way to check a vehicle’s history is by using an online service.

Car check companies use various resources to obtain detailed information about a vehicle. Sources include the DVLA, DVSA, the Police National Computer, finance and leasing companies, dealerships, and more.

A car check will give you the following information about the car:

  • Vehicle identification information.
  • The V5C logbook details.
  • The vehicle specifications.
  • Its value.
  • Its current MOT and tax status.
  • Past MOT results with recorded mileage.
  • If there’s outstanding finance.
  • Whether it’s been reported as stolen.
  • If it has ever been written off or scrapped.
  • If it was exported or imported.

Some of this information is available for free from the DVLA website, but you’ll need to pay a small fee for a fully detailed report. Being armed with the vehicle’s status and history enables you to make an informed decision on whether to buy the car or walk away.

The majority of second-hand cars for sale are legitimate, but there are unscrupulous people who will try to part you from your money with a car that is not what it seems. The car check is a reliable way to establish the facts.

Check the Car’s VIN and Number Plates

The vehicle identification number (VIN) can be found on the car’s chassis, on the door pillar, and often behind the windscreen. With the car check report, you can make sure the VIN on the logbook matches the numbers on the vehicle. Also, check that the registration number matches the documentation and it’s not been cloned. If it’s previously had personalised number plates, you can see if it’s been correctly re-registered with a new registration.

Discover the Car’s History

The car check will tell you when the car was built and first registered, its colour and any other colours it may have been, and how many previous owners it’s had. You can see the result of every MOT test and what faults it may have failed on, and when the next test is due.

If you buy a car with outstanding finance or lease agreement associated with it, you would either have to pay off the debt or return the car to the lender. Similarly, if the car has been stolen, it would have to be returned to the rightful owner or their insurance company. In both of these scenarios, you would be left seriously out of pocket, but a car check will steer you clear.

Sometimes, a car that has been in an accident and declared an insurance write off will be illegally repaired and put up for sale. If not properly fixed, such vehicles can have serious defects that put the safety of you and other road users in jeopardy. A vehicle report saves you from this risk.

As you can see, a small outlay for a car report before buying a second-hand vehicle can save you from suffering inconvenience, financial hardship, and accident risks. You can buy a car with confidence. All you need to start is the registration number.