Vehicle Data Check

(Level 5)
27 Apr 2018 13:20, updated
01 Dec 2009, published

When buying a new car, the process is more straightforward if you have the finances but for a used car, the same cannot be said unfortunately. A used car can have one or many previous owners and it is important to find the vehicle's history before committing to buy the car. There are some factors that could have long term implications when not knowing about a car's previous history. Cars which have retained their original colour will have more value than one which has had its colour changed. If the car in question has been involved in an accident or was declared as a total write off, then it may not be completely safe to drive. Buying a car from a private dealer may put you in a position worse off than buying from a regulated car dealer because important information may not be disclosed by private sellers. People who buy a nearly new or used car cannot be sure what is being said to them about the vehicle is all true, as it is in the nature of all salespeople to lie or hide the truth from you in order to get the deal closed.

What information will be revealed in a Car Data Check?

The vehicle data check can tell you a whole range of things about the vehicle as shown below:

  • whether the vehicle has been reported stolen
  • whether it is subject to outstanding finance - if this is the case, the finance company is legally the owner of the car
  • whether the car has been clocked (has its mileage been altered to appear less)
  • whether the vehicle has ever been a total write off or if it was a total insurance loss
  • whether the car was scrapped by the DVLA
  • whether the colour of the vehicle has ever been changed
  • whether the licence plates have ever been changed
  • the current market value so you don't get ripped off

The following information is also provided, however all companies display this information about the car anyway but sometimes it might be worth double checking:

  • number of former keepers
  • engine size
  • fuel
  • colour
  • make and model
  • year manufactured
  • date first registered

How do I get a car history check?

You need to have the registration number of the car which you want to get checked as it is unique for each car. The minimum price for a car history check is £3.95. Depending how much information you would like to know, the cost of the report can rise upto £35. There are some websites where you can get a free car check but the information is very basic and most of the time, it's data you already know. If you're serious about buying the car, then it is more appropriate to get a proper and professional check done so that you can see exactly you need to know in the report provided.