Most scrap car auctions and used car dealers are honest and professional but it doesn’t do any harm to double check everything to ensure that you don’t buy a stolen car. So where do you start off? Well below are some things that you’ll want to check before even going to view a car:
Registration number, make and model of the car
MOT test number
With the above details, you’ll be able to cross check these against the DVLA’s online records and make sure that they match up, any discrepancies should be treated as being cause for concern.
Once you’ve checked the online records and are happy with your findings you’ll want to arrange a viewing of the car. Again there are some things that you can check here to make sure that the used car is not stolen:
V5C registration certificate also known as the logbook
Vehicle identification number – check for signs of damage or tampering
MOT test – check that it’s got a valid MOT certificate
If you’re buying from a private seller you’ll need to make sure that the car is registered to the address that you view the car at. Don’t listen to excuses if someone claims they are selling the vehicle for a friend as this is a sure sign that there is something wrong.
Inspect the logbook and VIN
Take a look at the V5C or logbook as it is also known. One thing to look out for is that the registration number isn’t between BG8229501 and BG9999030 or BI2305501 to BI2800000. These logbooks went missing from the DVLA in the mid-2000’s so and vehicles with these numbers should be treated as suspicious.
The Vehicle Identification Number should also be checked to see if it has been replaced or tampered with. It is normally found in front of the engine block or in the rear wheel well, do a quick check on Google for the VIN location for the car you are thinking of buying. If you are buying the vehicle off a trade seller they should know where this is located and be happy to show it to you.
Check the seller is genuine
If you are buying from a private seller then check that they live at the address where the vehicle is registered. Ask to see some form of photographic ID as well as something such as a utility bill to show proof of address. Just because the car is at the right address, doesn’t mean that the person selling it is genuine. If everything looks too good to be true then don’t be afraid to walk away.