UK Car history checks with CarVeto

Is the car stolen, written off, incurred mileage discrepancies or has outstanding finance?


UK vehicle history facts:

  • During 2017 almost 105,000 used cars were reported as stolen
  • Of every 7 that were brought on car finance, 1 of those had an outstanding balance during the sales process
  • 1 in 12 cars recorded as insurance write-offs


Some car history checks are essential whilst others are optional

This guide shows you the steps to buying a car that is legal, genuine and a worthwhile investment.


Essential history checks (these are paid but with several options available)

Essential checks include insurance write-offs, theft/stolen, mileage discrepancies, outstanding finance including Hire Purchase, Personal Contract Purchase and Leased vehicles.


CarVeto searches and returns this information in a few seconds

Paid car history checks include additional information regarded as optional but still worth knowing about


Plate transfers
Number of previous owners
Import & export
Colour changes
Risk of third-party trace

Engine specification
Body type
Fuel type
Transmission type

Engine number
Date of registration
Annual road tax rates
Year of manufacturer
Environmental report
CO2 Emissions
Transmission type

Free checks

Requirements to run these checks:

  • VRM (vehicle registration number)
  • Any additional vehicle information you have access to


You can run a free CarVeto check now with an instant report (no email required)


Premium checking services are regarded as sufficient in examining the background of a car before you pay for it. However, there are 3 additional checks we suggest that offer further peace of mind and can make a difference to buying a vehicle that is genuine, reliable and good value.

  1. History of a car – ensures the recorded services were not falsified to increase car value
  2. MOT check – learn what ‘advisory items’ are recorded in the last MOT test and if they were replaced. You will also verify displayed mileage
  3. Car owner check – dispel the previous owner’s myth and confirm the actual number of owners the car has
  4. Car tax check – how road tax (and vehicle insurance) now play an important role in a decision to buy a used car


Solid vehicle information and best practice for car buyers


Buying from a dealer

Ensure that the dealership has a fixed abode (commercial premises) and is not attempting to sell a car from a pub car park or other third-party location (just because someone is listed as a dealer on the Autotrader website does not mean they are). There is no regulation in place for ‘dealer declaration’ and anyone can buy an advert on Autotrader and call themselves a dealer.

Ensure you receive a printed invoice with full vehicle registration details, warranty information, VAT registration number etc.

Do NOT allow the dealer to bring the vehicle to you.


Private sellers

View the car at the seller’s address. Ensure the address on the V5C logbook matches the seller’s location.

Consider asking for identification to ensure the seller is who they say they are.


Avoiding fraud

There are cases of fraud in the private and retail automotive sector, but you can reduce much of the risk by following a few basic rules as follows:

  1. Run a paid vehicle check
  2. Have the car inspected by a third-party professional such as the RAC, AA or Clickmechanic
  3. Check the owner’s identity
  4. Visit the seller at their address
  5. Beware of ‘bargains’ that may be a signal of something hidden


The vehicle

Did you know?

  • Premium vehicle checks hold information that has been recorded by an insurance company. Car damage and repair that was settled between drivers will most likely not be recorded
  • Cloned vehicles present a false VRM (vehicle registration number) and VIN (vehicle identification number). If the car is a clone its data will belong to a different, identical vehicle
  • Vehicles first purchased in another EU country may hold incomplete information about its history
  • Premium vehicle checks cannot tell you if the car is likely to be roadworthy and/or reliable


Paying for the vehicle

Only pay for the car by BACS electronic bank transfer. A cheque or bankers draft is the only other form of payment to consider as all three methods are traceable.

Cash is not traceable, whatsoever. Data Guarantees do not offer protection for payments more than £1,000 (or in some cases, 10% of the vehicles purchase prices)



If the car is less than 3 years old (or 5 years with some manufacturers such as Kia) it is advisable to get in touch with the supplying dealer before you buy the car and ensure the validity of the mandatory warranty. Manufacturers warranties can be invalidated in certain circumstances including if the car has not been serviced under manufacturers guidelines.

Vehicles purchased outside of the United Kingdom may have reduced warranty periods compared to that of the UK supplying dealer.

Our best used car buying tip is to run a thorough car history check before you pay a deposit or pay for the car outright. CarVeto is the UK’s preferred alternative to the traditional hpi check and is significantly cheaper.


The team at CarVeto