Skip to content

Please do not call 999 or 101 with queries relating to coronavirus social contact restrictions. We cannot advise you on what you can and can't do. Please visit here for more information. If you want to report a mass gathering or other serious breach of the national restrictions, please report online here or use our web-chat by clicking the green button on the bottom right of your screen.

Quick exit

Buying a vehicle

When buying a used car, we recommend checks are made to ensure it hasn’t been stolen. Criminals often try to disguise the identity of a stolen car before selling it to an innocent car buyer. 

To check the history of a used car before buying one, we advise you to;

  • ask the car dealer if they use a commercial database to confirm whether or not a vehicle has been reported as being stolen, has been written off by an insurance company, or is still being paid for under a finance agreement
  • contact HPI Check and for a small charge they can check the status of the car you’re buying
  • be cautious when buying a car privately, meet the seller at their house and look around for signs of car dealing
  • check the car chassis and vehicle identification number (VIN) and make sure they match those shown on the V5 documents
  • check the vehicle registration hasn’t been tampered with
  • don’t buy the vehicle if the seller cannot provide you with the vehicle registration (V5) document
  • take advantage of ‘indemnity clauses’ at car auctions, for a small fee you will be protected if you find you’ve brought a stolen vehicle.

When buying a car, it’s a good idea to check to see whether it has any security features. Ideally, a car should have one or more of the following;

  • an electric immobiliser
  • a car alarm
  • doors fitted with deadlocks or electronic locks
  • a central locking system
  • a visible vehicle identification number (VIN) – this is a unique number which identifies your car from any other on the road
  • security glazing – strengthened glass fitted to the side and rear windows of the car to make it harder for thieves to break in
  • lockable fuel cap
  • lockable wheel nuts
  • tracking devices to enable cars to be tracked by the police if ever it is stolen.

Our website uses cookies to improve your experience.