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 isn’t 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. Most new V5Cs are now red but some older ones may not be - to check the V5C is the latest issued use the DVLA vehicle enquiry service.

  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.