Car History Check

Buying a car is a serious business. It is serious because it is a major purchase that you have to be able to rely on. It is serious because it involves a large amount of money. And it’s also serious because in some circumstances buying a car can involve you in criminal activity.

For all these reasons, you have to be absolutely sure that the car you’re buying is both reliable and accurately described.

All sellers of used cars are obliged by law to let potential buyers know the accurate history of a vehicle. They don’t always do so. That’s why you need to check the history of a car yourself.

What are the biggest dangers in buying a used car?

Buying a used car is always a risk. Two big dangers come with buying a car.

The first danger is the history of the car. Sellers must disclose whether a car has been in an accident. This is regardless of whether the seller is a dealer or a private seller. Although it is a criminal offence for a seller not to tell the truth, some do not do so. In failing to disclose this information they break both the law and the duty of care they have to buyers.

The second biggest danger is whether or not the car has been stolen. Statistics released by the police and court system show that the number of cars being stolen is also increasing. A car gets stolen in the UK roughly every seven minutes. There has been an over 250% in car theft over the past four years, no part of the UK is without an increasing number of stolen cars.

People tend to think most cars are stolen by joyriders. That isn’t true. Most cars are stolen ready to be sold on. This means that the second-hand car market is full of them. So, if you are looking for a new vehicle there’s a good chance you could stumble across a stolen car during your search. When buying a used car, you need to be sure that it has not been stolen.

What are the other dangers of owning a stolen car?

Driving a stolen car is illegal. Because of technology, there is always a good chance a stolen car will be spotted once it has been reported as stolen. Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology is based on camera checks on licence plates. If ANPR detects a stolen car, the police will be alerted.

If you have bought a stolen car, you will never have the legal right to keep it. The first thing the police will do is impound the car and take it off the road. That will leave you without a vehicle. The second thing they will do is investigate whether you were the one who stole the car. The police may well launch a criminal investigation.

Even if you have the right papers to prove that you bought the car in good faith, and the police are happy with your story, that still doesn’t get you off the hook completely. Your insurance company will also look into the issue. In many cases, they may not pay out for a stolen car because they will judge you should have checked the car’s ownership before buying. “I didn’t know” is never a valid excuse.

All of these things explain why it’s vital to check if a used car is stolen before you invest in one. You need to know a car’s history.

How can you work out if a car has been stolen?

There is no way you can check if a car has been stolen without help. You can’t tell if a car has been stolen just by looking. Even if a car looks clean on the inside and outside, that never means a car’s history is clean. Only by running a proper car history check can you be totally confident that a car has not been stolen.

Luckily, we have built an online tool which can give you the answer you need.

To get an accurate report, all you need is your car registration number. It includes numbers and letters and is found on the front and rear of the vehicle.

Just type in your car registration number below and a vehicle history will be created that tells you the accurate ownership of a vehicle. Your registration number or number plate is also sometimes referred to as your VRM (Vehicle Registration Mark).

Why is driving a car that has been involved in an accident dangerous?

Any car that has been involved in an accident, no matter how small, carries risks. The car will always be less safe to drive. Even minor damage like an accident during parking the car can produce problems. You need to know the real history of a car before purchasing it.

How can you work out if a car has been in an accident?

There are a few basic checks you can carry out yourself which can help you decide if a car has been in an accident:

  • Inspect the tyres – Look for worn tyres and then check the framework around the tyres.
  • Colour check it – Check for any paint colour variations to determine if it has been repainted to hide the scratches, dents or even rust.
  • Test drive it – See if there are any issues with steering or closing the door. These are classic indicators of a previous accident.
  • Look for markings – These will indicate an accident, especially if there are welding marks.

However, you can never be absolutely sure if a car has been in an accident without a proper and thorough car history check. That’s exactly what we provide.

Simply type in your car registration number below and a vehicle history will be created that tells you the history of the vehicle including if it has been in an accident. Your registration number or number plate is also sometimes referred to as your VRM (Vehicle Registration Mark).

Running a car history check will also tell you if a vehicle has been designated for scrap.

How reliable is our car history check?

Our car history checker uses data from a variety of sources to compile a full history. This includes the Driving Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA) and the Police National Computer database. This means we use official government police records as part of our checks. All cars that have been reported as stolen or involved in an accident will be marked as so on the police computer.

Can you use our tool to find out the history of a motorbike?

Our tool deals with all vehicles with a number plate, and that includes motorbikes.

Does our car history tool cover commercial vehicles and vans?

Yes, it does. You can use it to check the history of a van or commercial vehicle has been stolen or has a hidden history such as being involved in an accident, written off or scrapped.

Can you insure a car that has been involved in an accident?

Even if you don’t do a car history check, your car insurance company will definitely do one when you go to insure your new vehicle. They will take the history of the vehicle into account when calculating what you have to pay in insurance costs. Every vehicle will be assessed individually.

In some cases, the insurance company may require formal documentation or photographs of repairs, as well as third-party assessments to check if a car is still fit to be driven. This could well take time and you need to know if this is likely before you buy the vehicle.

Some insurers even refuse to insure cars that have been involved in medium to serious accidents. They might decide the car is not worth insuring. And without insurance, you cannot legally drive.

Insurance companies can also consider cosmetic defects like scratches as damage, though that will not necessarily be seen as serious.

What other issues should you think about?

Other things you need to think about when buying a used car are if there is any outstanding credit on it. We have a tool that lets you check this too.

We can also help you make sure that it has not been written off by using our number plate technology.

We have also built searches that look for things like a car’s vehicle emissions, its car tax status, as well as when its MOT is due, and any history of number plate changes. We also cover whether it has been written off and the full spec of the vehicle which you’re looking at.