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A vehicle can be an expensive investment whether it be a car, van or bike. This means it could be worthwhile investing some time in vehicle checks before purchasing.
Vehicle Checks Guide
When someone buys a second-hand car, it usually makes sense to find out as much as they can about the car before money changes hands. Vehicle checks could be a good way to accomplish this task. Car checks may be useful in other situations too; for instance, if someone is in an accident, they could check the Motor Insurance Database to confirm the insurance details of any other driver involved in the accident.
Why are Vehicle Checks Important?
Some cars have a hidden history, meaning that when they purchase the car, what they see is not what the buyer gets. The car might be stolen, tied to outstanding debts, or might have a mileage discrepancy, and have more distance on the clock than is displayed. It might even be a “scrapped” car, meaning that it’s previously been written off. Owning and driving such a car could be extremely dangerous, or the car may require expensive repairs in order to make it road-worthy. This isn’t the case for all cars, or even a majority of cars, but a significant number of cars may have problems for unwary buyers. For instance, according to the AA, one-third of the UK cars they check have a hidden history, one-quarter have an outstanding debt, and 1 in 20 cars have an inaccurate mileage recorded. When a person looks at a second-hand car, there’s no real way to tell what its history really is. Having a car history check performed might be the best way to get peace of mind, and to ensure there are no unpleasant surprises later on.
What Vehicle Checks are Necessary for Buying a Car?
There are typically several checks that a buyer might make when they buy a second-hand car. One of the most important could be simply to check that the person selling the car is the legal owner. It’s important to note that a vehicle’s V5C registration certificate names the registered keeper of the vehicle, but does not name the vehicle’s legal owner. Therefore, even if a V5C registration certificate names the person who’s selling a car, it’s still possible it might be legally owned by a leasing company or financing company.To avoid this problem, a buyer might want to obtain the car’s make and model number, tax details, and MOT test number. With these details they could check DVLA records or have a vehicle check company perform the required checks to ensure the seller of the car is the legal owner or is otherwise entitled to sell the car. A second-hand car could come with certain documents, including the V5C registration certificate (also called a logbook), and an MOT certificate. The MOT certificate is usually the annual requirement for cars over 3 years old, and tends to be needed in order to insure the car, and drive legally on UK public roads. The seller may be able to show a buyer these documents before they buy the car. If they’re not willing to show them, it may be a sign that there’s something wrong with the car, or that the seller is not the car’s owner. In order to comprehensively check the status of a second-hand car, it could be possible to arrange for a check to be carried out by a third-party company such as the AA or RAC.
What does Your Vehicle History Report Mean?
When a third-party company performs a vehicle check, they search several different databases to find information about a car, including the DVLA, insurance companies, finance companies, and the police. When a comprehensive vehicle check is performed, a vehicle check history report might contain some or all of the following information:
Whether there is any outstanding financing or loan attached to the car, the company that provided the financing, and the type of financing involved. Whether the car has been reported as stolen any time in the past. Whether the car has ever been involved in a serious accident, has been written off by an insurance company, or has been scrapped by the DVLA. The car’s mileage at certain points in time as recorded on the national mileage register; for instance, the car’s mileage may be recorded on previous occasions when it has been sold. The number of previous owners the car has had. Whether the car has ever had a number plate transfer. Verification of vehicle logbook information. This information includes details such as the car’s make and model, engine size and number, vehicle economy and performance, body plan, age, and date of first UK registration. Vehicle identification number check (VIN check) and registration certificate (V5C) match. Whether the car has ever been exported or imported.
Needing Vehicle Check Data Insurance?
Some vehicle check companies offer vehicle check data insurance, which is an additional purchase on top of the fee for performing the vehicle check. This insurance covers any costs a person may incur if any of the information in the vehicle check report turns out to be untrue. For example, if someone has a vehicle check performed on a car that they subsequently buy, and that car later turns out to have been scrapped—costing thousands in repairs to get the car road-worthy—then the insurance may cover those costs, if the report did not indicate that the vehicle had been scrapped. Note that this insurance typically limits the size of a claim to a specified amount. For instance, the AA may offer insurance that pays up to £30,000 for costs incurred by a buyer in the event that they provide inaccurate information on a vehicle check report.
Whether you’re inspecting a vehicle, running a VIN check, or searching for a full vehicle history report, Quotezone’s panel of vehicle checks providers could help you find the information you’re looking for.