According to a recent report, one in four of the 30 million cars on the UK’s roads have a hidden past. And that’s a pretty big ratio; the purchase of a car – be it new or used – is second only to buying a property.

With it being such a significance to your wallet, it’s vital that you run checks on the car prior to purchase. As an ethical car finance provider, we know that having your car thoroughly checked before you purchase it is a priority. So, to help you we’ve listed three consumer car check companies that recognise this integral part of your car buying journey.


By using the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) platform -via – you can access all the important information you need to know about a particular vehicle online, free of charge. All you need to do is enter your vehicle’s make and registration number in the search tab, and the DVLA will present you with a number of information points, including:

  • When the vehicle’s tax and MOT expire
  • The date it was first registered
  • SORN status (Statutory Off Road Notification)
  • Vehicle colour, engine size and year of manufacture.

One particularly helpful detail that’s also provided is the CO2 emissions of the vehicle, as this can allow you to predict the vehicle’s tax rate.


AutoTrader provides a 26-point independent report, and completes around 10,000 full car checks each month. One vehicle check will cost £19.99 and you can get 5 vehicle check reports for £24.99 within a 60-day period.

A vehicle check report from AutoTrader will include:

  • Vehicle colour, engine number and year of manufacture
  • Any number plate changes
  • CO2 emissions
  • Reported stolen or if there is any outstanding finance.

AutoTrader checks include a £30,000 data guarantee to protect you from any false information. Furthermore, if you find that the vehicle you check has been scrapped, is currently listed as stolen or is a write off (Category A and B only), then you’ll receive another vehicle check absolutely free of charge.

Association of British Insurers. Checks cost as little as £2 to receive up to 77 pieces of information instantly, including:

  • Vehicle colour (and any changes), engine number and size
  • Year of manufacturer
  • Whether stolen or scrapped by the DVLA
  • Number of former keepers and any outstanding finance.

Once the data has been obtained, it can be retrieved at any time for up to 30 days. If you opt for the Gold Check (£9.95), you’ll also receive a text message with the vehicle’s search results, as well as its mileage and valuation.

Did you know?

Each vehicle that we finance is thoroughly checked free of charge before the customer takes delivery.

Why do we do it for free? Because as ethical lenders, we take the well-being of our customers into consideration throughout their entire car finance buying journey. And we also do everything we can to save you time, effort and money. So this helps a little doesn’t it?

Thinking about financing your next car?

If you’re considering financing your next vehicle, talk to us today. We have a range of car finance options to suit individual needs, circumstances and wallet sizes.

Call our Customer Advisor team on 0800 1777 290 or apply by completing our simple, 2-minute application form.

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