Last updated: February 16, 2021

Do You Need A Car Registration Check Before UK Purchase?

By Administrator_1
Published 18:40 pm

Car Registration Check Before UK Purchase

Cars are not cheap – they are huge investments. In fact, purchasing a car is probably going to be one of the biggest investments you make. Due to this, it’s important to take your time when purchasing, ensuring that you’re getting the very best for your money.

We all know that finding the perfect car is not something that happens in an instant. But apart from finding a model that you like, there are several other factors that need to be thought about. One of the most important things to do is conduct a car registration check.

This guide is going to take you through exactly why you need to do a car registration check before purchasing the car.

What Is A Car Registration Check?

A car registration check uses a car’s number plate to provide you with a whole range of information about the vehicle. From tax status right through to engine size, this check gives you the ultimate rundown on everything you could possibly need to know.

The great thing about car registration checks is that you’re not limited to the vehicle you own. You can search for absolutely any UK car registration and receive the exact same results. This is really helpful when you’re planning to purchase a car, as the results can confirm whether the car is right for you or not.

Car Registration Check

What Does A Car Registration Check Include?

A car registration check is not just limited to basic information about the vehicle. Here is an exhaustive list of everything you will find in a basic registration check:

  • Tax records (the current rate of tax and expiration date)
  • Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN status – whether it can be driven on the road)
  • MOT information (when the last MOT was/when it expires)
  • Registration date
  • Issue date of the last logbook (V5C – confirms the owner of the vehicle)
  • Year of manufacture
  • Type approval (whether the material used in the car meets performance standards)
  • Weight of car
  • Engine size
  • Fuel type
  • Mileage
  • CO2 emissions, real driving emissions level

As you can see from the above list, a car registration check is incredibly thorough. Read on to establish exactly why all of this information is important.

The Importance Of Getting A Car Registration Check

Getting a car registration check is one thing, but knowing what to do with the information is another. Many people carry out car registration checks in an attempt to be nosey – but what practical uses do they actually have?

As mentioned previously, it is highly advised to carry out a car registration check from us (Just Car Checks) before purchasing a car in the UK. Whether you’re planning to purchase from a reputable dealer or through a stranger, conducting a car registration check confirms that no important information slips through the net.

Unfortunately, there are many people out there who are selling cars with false advertisement. For example, it can be hard to tell if a car has been stolen when you’re being pitched with a dream. Other instances include being sold cars that are not safe to drive, have been written off, hold a fake number plate, and so on.

A car registration check helps to prevent the above situations from happening. Getting caught up in a car scam is an expensive and stressful situation – avoid this all together by conducting a simple car registration check.

Whether you have full confidence in the seller or not, carrying out a car registration check will take a matter of seconds. If something flags up that you weren’t aware of, you have every right to dispute this with the seller. If the information they give you continues to hold inaccuracies, we can almost guarantee that you are in a scam. Get out while you can!

To summarise, car registration checks are important because:

  • They help you to spot untrustworthy sellers
  • They help you to understand exactly what you’re buying
  • They highlight any issues with the car
  • They reduce the risk of being victim to fraud

car registration

How To Get A Car Registration Check

There are many ways to get a car registration check – the way you go about it will entirely depend on how much information you need.

For basic information (everything listed earlier in this guide), head to the DVLA site for a free check. Simply enter the car’s registration and click the ‘continue’ button. From here, you’ll receive all of the latest information available about the vehicle. If anything appears to be ‘shady’ or different from what is advertised, either back away from purchasing the vehicle or raise the issue with the seller.

If you would prefer to contact DVLA by phone, you can ring them on 0300 790 6802. However, please note that you will only be able to receive the following information via phone:

  • Date of the first registration
  • The car’s manufacture year
  • Size of the engine
  • Information regarding CO2 emissions
  • Colour of the vehicle
  • Current vehicle tax rate

You can get more in-depth vehicle registration checks done for a small fee. Paying this fee through reputable companies (like us here at My Car Tax Check!) will provide you with the same information as a DVLA check, as well as:

  • Stolen history
  • Any mileage concerns
  • VIN inspection
  • Plate change history
  • And much more!

Other Things To Check Before Buying A Car

If you’re reading this article, it’s safe to say that you’re already taking your car purchase decision very seriously. But while sorting a car registration check is a priority, it can’t be done until you’ve actually found a car you like.

Let’s rewind a few steps and talk through some other things that you should check before buying a car. The following pointers particularly apply if you’re purchasing a used car…

Finances: Before you even start looking for a car, review your financial situation to confirm that purchasing a car won’t leave you struggling financially.

Remember that cars come with a lot of extra costs, from insurance and road tax right through to petrol top-ups. With this information in mind, set yourself a strict – and realistic – car budget. This will help you to focus on vehicles you can actually afford rather than getting carried away.

A car registration check will also help you to keep finances on track along with checking for any outstanding finance. Observing the car’s current state will instantly make it clear as to whether the car will need extra maintenance.

Test Drives: If possible, always take the model of car you want for a test drive. No two models are ever the same, making it all the more important to check that you’re comfortable with how they drive before committing!

Pretty much all reputable car suppliers can book you in for a test drive, but this might be trickier to arrange if buying from a second-hand seller. With that being said, a test drive is incredibly important – never purchase a car unless you’re 100% certain you’re comfortable driving it!

Tyres: Don’t be afraid to get down to the ground when observing the car’s tyres (especially if buying second hand). Tyre treads must legally be above 1.6mm, but a tread under 3mm suggests that the tyre may need replacing soon. Bear this in mind – the lower the tread, the lower the performance of the car. Replacing tyres can be expensive; do you really want that added cost?

Locks And Windows: There are some things which a car registration check can’t pick up – for example, whether all of the locks and windows function properly. It is well in your right to check all locks and windows when enquiring about a car; after all, you could end up in an expensive theft situation if someone gains access through a broken lock or window.

Broken locks and windows aren’t cheap to replace, so if you do come across one, ask yourself if the final price of the car is really worth this added expense. More times than not, you’ll be better off finding a different car that is fully intact. Besides, there’s no telling why the lock or window is broken… a stolen car, perhaps?

Keys: As well as checking locks and windows, make sure that the key works, too. In this day and age, most cars have remote keys, which once again can be expensive to fix. Do a few tests with the key to ensure it’s working from a variety of distances and angles. Check it in the ignition as well – the last thing you want is a car that doesn’t drive!

car keys

Purchase Your New Car With Confidence

With all of these tips in mind, you are more than prepared to confidently purchase a car without encountering any nasty surprises. To summarise, yes, it is advised to do a car registration check before purchasing a car in the UK. This will eliminate the risk of purchasing a faulty car and reduce the chances of being subject to fraud. You are more than entitled to know as much about the car you’re purchasing as possible, so don’t be afraid to ask questions and dig deeper. Happy car hunting!

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