Check a used vehicle you’re buying

Follow these steps to check you’re not buying a stolen or unsafe vehicle.

Before you see the vehicle

  1. Ask the seller for the registration number, make and model and MOT test number.

  2. Check that the details you’ve been given match the information held by DVLA.

  3. Check the MOT status and history matches the details you’ve been given.

  4. Check if the the vehicle has been recalled because of a serious safety issue.

When you go to see the vehicle

  1. Ask to see the V5C vehicle registration certificate (‘log book’). Make sure it has a ‘DVL’ watermark, and the serial number is not between BG8229501 to BG9999030, or BI2305501 to BI2800000. If it is, the V5C might be stolen - call the police as soon as it’s safe to.

  2. Make sure the details in the log book match the details you’ve been given.

  3. Check the vehicle identification number and engine number. Make sure these match the details on the log book.

If you buy the vehicle

Tax the vehicle immediately. You’ll need the green ‘new keeper’s details’ slip (V5C/2) from the seller.

  1. Step 1 Check the vehicle before you buy it

    You'll need the vehicle's registration number, make, model and MOT test number. You also need to see the V5C vehicle registration certificate (log book).

    1. Check the details you've been given match DVLA's information
    2. Check the vehicle's MOT history
    3. Check if the vehicle has been recalled because of a safety issue
    4. You are currently viewing: Check the log book isn't for a stolen vehicle
  2. Step 2 Buy and register the vehicle

    Once you've bought the vehicle, you have to register it. How you register it depends on whether it has a V5C registration certificate (log book).

    1. Find out how to register your vehicle
    2. Get a vehicle log book if you don't have it £25
  3. Step 3 Insure the vehicle

    You must have insurance before you can use your vehicle on the road.

    1. Check if your vehicle is insured on the Motor Insurance Database
    2. Read about vehicle insurance
  4. Step 4 Tax the vehicle