Author Archives: LandM

Vehicle History Checking FAQs – Answered


What is a stolen vehicle check?

This quite simply tells you if the vehicle has been recorded as stolen by the police. The vehicle check itself will run an instant query to the Police Database to validate if the car is stolen or not.

Understanding if a vehicle is stolen is an incredibly important requirement when buying a used car. If you are caught with a stolen car then you are more than likely going to have it taken away from you, no compensation and then have to make it evident that you never knew it was stolen.

The thing about this check is that it is impossible to find out unless you run a total car check with a vehicle checking platform.

Does a vehicle check show if the car has outstanding finance?

Free and basic checks generally do not provide finance-related data. This would be found with a full car reg check but it is well worth paying the £7.99 that it costs. As 90% of new car deals tend to be purchased with finance it is a high chance that a newer used car could have had finance payments. Whilst buying a car with outstanding finance is not illegal it can cause a lot of headaches and you could lost a lot of money.

If the car happens to have outstanding finance and you buy it, the finance company with legally owns the car will try to repossess it. You will not be compensated either so the money you spent, which could be quite high if it is a newer car too, will never be given back to you. An outstanding finance check provides peace of mind knowing if the car has finance or not. If it does, the vehicle check will also provide other details such as the agreement date, type and term.

What does a scrapped car check mean?

Driving a legally scrapped car is an incredibly dangerous action to take and unless you have ran a vehicle check you will never know. There are two reasons a car gets scrapped: it has been written off by the insurance company or it has reached the end of its life. Both of these reasons are good enough for the scrapped car to be considered highly dangerous and unsafe for the road.

A scrapped car check will involve checking the DVLA’s data directly and returning a Yes/No answer. Very simple but this small check can save you a lot of wasted time.

What does a mileage check tell me?

This data will be pulled from the DVLA database which has on record the mileage that was on the odometer at the time of an MOT test. This is also the basis of finding out if the car has a mileage anomaly or not. This means that the mileage is not as it should be and it indicates to a car that has been clocked, potentially.

Cars get clocked to generally increase the value of the car. The fewer the miles, the higher the value the car can command so you can see why people do it. Running a mileage check will also provide you with a simple Yes/No answer to a mileage anomaly being detected.

Does a car check provide keeper’s history?

Yes, it is generally included with a paid version of a car history check. Knowing the number of keepers the car has had can indicate, quite quickly, to a potential lemon. Generally speaking the more keepers the car has had, the more likely it is to have something wrong with it. Especially as it starts to get older. Something to consider as well is that it is not uncommon to see multiple owners every year when it is a new car (with no outstanding finance). Some people like to swap to a new model every year, sales reps cars can also get renewed on a yearly basis too.

Cars with four or more keepers are considered to be harder to sell as this is considered a high number. But don’t forget to ask questions and see if a vehicle history check can provide more information such as the MOT report. In there you can find failure and advisory notes which can indicate to how well the car was looked after.

Is a car reg check really needed?

Quite simply yes. Even a free check is better than going in blind and hoping that the seller is honest and the car is true. It is better to know the history before spending your time going to view it when there could be a glaring problem that you will miss. A car reg check gives you the performance data and mechanical history which can help you decide if the car is at it’s true value and if it will have problems in the future.

Why do I need to get a number plate check?

Knowing how many plate changes a car has had is vital as you will need to know why it was done. With a number plate check you will be told if there have been any plate changes and how many. If the car has had a plate change then you need to find out if it was done with the current owner or not. If it was then ask why they got it. Most of the time it is a personal gift because of a cherished number plate of a present from someone else.

Sometimes a number plate change or multiple changes at minimum can point to a stolen car or one that still has outstanding finance on it. The seller is trying to hide the true identity and inevitably cost you a lot of money in the future. Know if there have been any number plate changes and ask questions if there have been.

Where can I get a car valuation?

You have many options for getting your car valued, these options generally do come with an inbox load of offer emails from trade buyers. This can be both good and bad but without know what the true value is you will not know what is the right deal.

Starting with a total vehicle check will provide you with a valuation for your car. Mostly it is based on private and trade pricing but some vehicle checkers provide a range of valuations for your car. Once you have this you can see how the bodywork and mechanics are and determine what you believe to be a fair price your car can command.

What is a VIN check?

A VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) is a unique 17 digit string of numbers and letters which the car’s maker issues and stamps onto each car they produce. These VINs are totally unique to each car so that means it is impossible to have 2 cars with matching VINs.

Running a VIN check will tell you the details associated with the car that has this chassis number. If the details match, great! If not, walk away quickly as it will likely be a car with a horrible history, stolen or something else.

There can be multiple locations of the VIN number – driver’s section plastic trim, right shock absorber or near the bottom of the car’s windscreen. All of these have to match up to ensure that it is the right car.

How to Tax a Car: Your Online Guide to Taxing a Car


Having VED/road tax is a legal requirement for UK roads, not having road tax can lead to some heavy fines. To avoid getting into that situation this guide will help to show you how you can check your road tax and pay for it online.

What is the VED?

Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) is the ‘official’ term for car tax. The DVLA, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, is responsible for collecting your car’s road tax. They upkeep a database of all of the car’s on the UK road’s and know everything about car tax and MOT’s.

Car tax is a requirement for vehicles that are not declared SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) and even if they are stored at a private property, it still needs road tax.

How much car tax do I need to pay?

This is dependant on which VED band your car falls in to. The UK government has put in place targets and goals for emissions which means that the VED bands fee’s are heavily connected to the level of CO2 emissions that your car emits.

There are different rates of tax depending on when your car was first registered. The bands are as follows [as of November 2017]:

  • Car was first registered on or after 1st April 2017
  • Car was first registered between 1st March 2001 and 31st March 2017
  • Car was first registered before 1st March 2001

Registered on or after 1st April 2017

This will mean that the cost of the first year of road tax will be dependant on CO2 emissions.

But the good news is that when you renew, it will be a lower fee every year that is dependant on the fuel type, not emissions.

Vehicles that have a list price of £40,000+ (advertised price without discounts) will have to pay an additional £310 a year in car tax/VED. This will be required for 5 years which will begin from the second payment.

Some alternative fuel vehicles, typically electric vehicles, require no tax whatsoever to be paid (those with CO2 emissions of less than 50g/km and costing less than £40,000 to be more specific). If an electric vehicle emits more than 50g/km, it will need to have road tax paid for the first year and it will be free thereafter.

First year tax rates:

Rates for road tax after the first fee for cars registered on or after 1st April, 2017

Road tax rates for vehicles registered between 1st March 01 – 31st March 17:

If your car was registered before 1st March 01 then the tax rate is based on the engine size. There are two tiers for cars registered before this date:

Up-to 1549cc = £145.00/year

Over 1549cc = £235.00/year

What changes were made to car tax in 2017?

As the UK government has targets in place to fight against climate change and the levels of CO2 that each country produces, 2017 saw new rules put into place for car tax.

Previously, the car tax on a vehicle that emits CO2 emissions over 255g/km would have cost £550 for the first year. Now though that will cost you £2000 with the new rules made in 2017.

This initially large charge at the beginning of owning a car was designed to put people off buying heavy emitting cars based on the high first year of road tax.

What changes were made to car tax in 2018?

From April 1st 2018, new diesel vehicles may be subject to move one band above their original band if they don’t meet the latest Euro 6 emissions standards in the RDE2 ‘real world’ tests.

The test measures the amount of NOx emissions that a vehicle products through ‘real-world’ driving conditions. There’s a current limit of 80mg/km which has been set by the UK government.

Pay for car tax at the Post Office

Requirements – at least one of the below:

  • V11 letter from the DVLA (sent to you around a month before your VED due date).
  • V5C logbook – the V5, your vehicle’s logbook. This must be in your name.
  • V5C/2 – the new keeper’s slip.
  • V85/1 – if it’s a Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV)

Simply head to your local branch with one of these forms (V11, V5C or V5C/2) and a member of staff will be able to help. Payments can be made by:

  • Direct Debit
  • Cheque payable to Post Office Limited
  • Debit Card
  • Cash (excluding by post)
  • Post Office Budget Card
  • Postal Order
  • Sterling travellers cheques
  • Credit Card (£2.50 handling fee)

Pay for car tax online

Requirements – at least one of the below:

  • V11 letter from the DVLA (sent to you around a month before your VED due date).
  • V5C logbook – the V5, your vehicle’s logbook. This must be in your name.
  • V5C/2 – the new keeper’s slip.
  • V85/1 – if it’s a Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV)
  1. Visit the UK GOV site and select ‘Start Now’
  2. Select if you have the V11 reminder letter (must be printed in your name)

3. Enter the vehicle’s registration number and 11 digit reference (where to find these details are shown on the page)

4. Check and confirm the details that are presented to you

5. Choose how you wish to pay – monthly or yearly.

Getting a car tax refund

There are a number of situations and circumstances where you may be able to get a car tax refund.

When it is written-off

This is essentially you selling the vehicle to the insurance company and so you could be issued a car tax refund if there’s any remaining on it.

You need to inform the DVLA is your vehicle has been written off to get a refund. Visit here to get started.

When the car is stolen

If the insurance company has paid out because of a stolen car then you will be due for a car tax refund. This is only if it is not due for renewal.

You will need to inform the DVLA once the insurance has been paid out.