Press release

DVLA advice to second hand car buyers

DVLA reminds anyone thinking of buying a second hand vehicle to make sure they are happy with the sale before they make payment.

Car image

The DVLA is reminding anyone thinking of buying a second hand vehicle to make sure they are happy with the sale before they make any payment.

The DVLA are urging potential buyers to take a look at the easy-to-follow advice published on Directgov on what steps to take before buying a used vehicle.

DVLA’s Corporate Affairs Director, David Evans said:

With the January sales upon us, everyone is out searching for a bargain. However, no one wants to be a victim of vehicle crime and if you buy a second hand car without checking the facts first you may get more than you bargained for.

It only takes a few minutes to look through the advice we publish to help those thinking about buying a used vehicle. Our advice is to trust your instincts - if a deal seems too good to be true it probably is.

DVLA recommends buyers ask to see proof of ownership of a vehicle, such as a bill of sale, and check the vehicle’s service records and a MOT certificate to assure themselves that the sale is legal.

Notes to editors

Useful tips when buying a used vehicle include:

  • be careful of adverts quoting mobile phone numbers - owners are hard to trace
  • watch out for adverts giving a landline number with specific times to call - it could be a phone box
  • find out the market value of the vehicle - if it’s being offered much cheaper, ask yourself why
  • find out where the vehicle’s stamped-in Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) should be so that you can check it against the vehicle registration certificate (V5C)
  • arrange to see the vehicle in daylight at the seller’s home and not in a public place such as service stations, pub car parks and petrol forecourts
  • ask to see additional identification
  • check whether the vehicle has outstanding finance, as this could affect your rights to the vehicle
  • ask to see proof of ownership such as a bill of sale
  • ask to see the vehicle service records and a MOT certificate

Press office

DVLA Press Office
Longview Road
Morriston
Swansea

SA6 7JL

Published 6 January 2011