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.