Checking vehicle history

Vehicle checks via DVLA

The driver and vehicle licensing agency provide vast data for car, motorbikes and light commercials. Provided via the UK.gov website, search using a vehicle check registration number and delve into the maintenance, tax, MOT history, vehicle details and SORN status. DVLA also cite askMID for road insurance checks.


car check screenshot from dvla website


How will this information help if I am buying a car? 

When buying a car privately, it's important to see the current tax and MOT status together with annual costs. 

The MOT history database holds full data from 2005 for any UK registered car (excluding those that might have been imported or exported and then imported where history was not available). 

Check how a vehicle performed on each test, if it passed, failed and/or carried advisory notes. This is useful when buying, especially when checking the last couple of MOT tests. It's the last two years of maintenance and repair that tend to dictate how much money will need to be spent on the car in the coming 12-months. 

When a car had advisory notes for worn drive shaft or brake discs, they may not have been replaced at the time of MOT test. These parts are very likely to need replacing as an MOT technician is likely to fail the car on the parts that were advisories last time around. 

In a broad sense, you can predict how well the vehicle will perform in its next test. That allows the chance to calculate maintenance and repair spends. 


askMID vehicle insurance check

For private buyers, this is another essential check provided for free by DVLA. 
All privately held vehicles must be insured and taxed at all times. If you check a vehicle is over three years old it must also have a valid MOT. 

Checking via askMID database will ensure the car is currently insured by the registered keeper/owner. 

SORN

The only exception is statutory off road notification/SORN. If a privately owned car has a sorn it does not need tax, mot or insurance. But, the vehicle checked must not be on the road either. 

Vehicles not found on a DVLA chec
It happens. Some reg numbers are unfound on DVLA. In most cases, this is due to the vehicle have a number plate change. There is often a short period between car reg's where DVLA are yet to update. 

Aside from this one example, if a car is not found on the .gov site you may want to run some additional checks or contact DVLA directly to ensure the vehicle is legitimate and legal to buy. 

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