|Advice on buying a vehicle*|
When you buy a new vehicle, do you really check what it is that you are buying? There are many stolen vehicles that are ‘disguised’ to make you believe you are buying the correct make and model.
Here are a few tips you can consider when buying your next vehicle.
Seeing the vehicle for the first time
What to look for when you check the vehicle
Checking the vehicle’s identity
When you decide what make and model you are interested in, find out where the vehicle identification number (VIN) is on that vehicle. You will then know where to look and check it’s correct. Also check:
If the number is not on the vehicle, ask why not.
The vehicle has a ‘Q’ registration number
A ‘Q’ registration number means:
The registration certificate should say why the vehicle has been registered with a ‘Q’ registration number.
The vehicle’s registration certificate
If you decide to buy a vehicle make sure the person selling it has the right to do so as the registration certificate isn’t proof that they own the vehicle.
Make sure you have the registration certificate and it matches the vehicle’s details.
Check the registration certificate and satisfy yourself that it is real. By holding it up to the light you can see the DVLA watermark in it. You can also phone DVLA on 0870 241 1878 to check the registration certificate is real before you buy.
Be on the lookout for stolen registration certificates. DVLA has provided a range of serial numbers of known stolen registration certificates. If you find one that is in the range of BG8229501 to BG9999030 or BI2305501 to BI2800000 do not proceed with the sale and contact the police.
If you can’t find a serial number or it looks like it has been altered or tampered with, or the vehicle is accompanied by only part of the registration certificate you should not go ahead with the sale.
Get someone else to check the vehicle for you.
To help you decide whether to buy the vehicle you can also consider:
Further information may be obtained from Directgov - public services all in one place
*With acknowledgment to the Crown Copyright
Go to car checks