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car history check UK

What is a car history check?

A car history check is a detailed report that provides past information about the vehicle. Conducting a car history check is a smart decision that helps buyers make informed decisions to save from hidden problems and potential financial losses with the vehicle before purchase. 

There are two types of checks: the free basic check, which provides government provided details, and the premium history check, a paid version that offers critical checks such as mileage anomalies, colour changes, scrapping status, VIN number verification, previous owner history counts, and more.

Buying a second-hand car in the UK without knowing its past and present history is a risky task. Don’t skip this important step to protect yourself and your investment.

What’s the risk I may cause if I buy a used car without conducting a car history check?

Buying a second-hand car in the UK without knowing its past and present history is a risky task. As per research says

  • A customer survey shows that 21% of people would consider buying a previously written-off vehicle. 
  • In 2023, 64,087 cars were reported stolen to the DVLA, marking a 4.9% increase from the previous year’s 61,106. 
  •  1.5 million used cars will be financed in the UK this year, amounting to £23 billion borrowed. In the first three months of 2023, consumers purchased 388,309 second-hand cars on finance, reflecting an increase from the previous year.
  • One-year-old used cars have an average mileage of 20,742 miles, while three-year-old vehicles have been driven approximately 32,111 miles on average. Five-year-old cars, on the other hand, have covered an average distance of 48,629 miles.

How does car history check work?

A car history check involves accessing multiple databases to compile a comprehensive report on a vehicle’s background. This typically starts by entering the vehicle’s registration number or VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) into an online platform. 

The check retrieves data from various sources, including insurance companies, police records, and the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency), to uncover details such as previous ownership changes, accident history, mileage records, outstanding finance, and more. This information provides valuable insights for potential buyers or owners, helping them make informed decisions about the vehicle’s condition and value.

Can I get a full car history check for free?

While some basic information might be available for free through certain online platforms or gov.uk websites, obtaining a comprehensive car history check typically requires a paid service. 

Free options often offer limited data and may not include crucial details such as accident history, title issues and more. 

Investing in a paid car history check is advisable for a thorough evaluation of a vehicle’s background before making a purchase decision. It ensures access to comprehensive information and helps avoid potential pitfalls associated with buying a used car.

What does a car history check report reveal?

Basic Free Check

Premium Check


Legal Check

Mileage Check

Critical Check

Vehicle Registration


Vehicle Description


MOT advisory & failure notices


Basic free check:

  1. MOT & TAX: It reveals MOT status, MOT due, MOT advisory and TAX.
  2. Mileage Check: It reveals MOT mileage, mileage issue, mileage last year, avg mileage, mileage status
  3. Vehicle Registration: Year of manufacture, first registered, registered near location, vehicle age, exported, last V5C issue date, time since last V5C and euro status.
  4. Vehicle Description: Make, model, colour, transmission, fuel, engine size, co2 emmisions.

Premium check:

A premium car history check can provide valuable information about a vehicle, including:

Legal Check Summary:

  1. Outstanding finance
  2. Police Stolen
  3. Condition/Write Off
  4. High Risk

Critical Check Summary:

  1. Previous Owner History: This report provides data on the number of previous keepers, including the current keeper, and the date of the last keeper change history.
  2. Plate Change History: It Provides details about a vehicle’s VRM changes, including the current VRM (e.g., SJ07XLF) and the date when it was changed.
  3. Colour Change History: Colour change history documents any alterations to a vehicle’s paint colour, helping assess its condition, modifications, and potential impact on value in the used car market.
  4. Scrapped: A Scrapped car check report reveals if a vehicle has been declared unfit for road use, aiding in assessing its roadworthiness.
  5. Import/Export Check: An Import/Export car check report simply reveals whether the vehicle has been imported or exported, with a straightforward “yes” or “no” answer.
  6. Mileage Anomaly: A Mileage Anomaly report can reveal either “Yes” or “No.” “Yes” indicates there are irregularities or anomalies in the vehicle’s recorded mileage, while “No” suggests that there are no such irregularities, ensuring the accuracy of the mileage information.
  7. VIC Inspected : This report confirms if a vehicle has passed a Vehicle Identity Check (VIC) after being salvaged or written off, ensuring its legal roadworthiness.
  8. VIN ends with : This report highlights the vehicle’s last five digits of the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number). This information is helpful for identifying and verifying a specific vehicle accurately.
  9. Engine Number: This report confirms the accuracy of a vehicle’s engine number, ensuring it matches official records for authenticity and precision.
  10. Previous N.Ireland: This report reveals whether a vehicle was previously registered in Northern Ireland or not, which can impact its history and documentation.

Which is the best website for car history check?

There are many platforms available, but Car Analytics stands out as the best option for car history checks, priced at just £9.95 and offering over 50 trusted data points (including valuation & £30K data guarantee). Full reports and basic checks start from £1.99 and have over 3,600 genuine customer reviews. 

Additionally provides a £30K data guarantee priority support at £2.00, ensuring that your data is protected and you receive expedited assistance whenever needed or incase of claims in the future.

You can get the clear information by clicking this sample report.

Note: Exclusive deal for trade dealers: Get bulk checks ranging from 20 to 100, with each vehicle check report costing less than £3.

Drive with Confidence! 

Discover the Untold Story of Your Next Ride with Comprehensive Vehicle History Checks


Conducting a car history check is essential for ensuring safety, reliability, and peace of mind when buying or owning a vehicle. By accessing comprehensive reports, individuals can make informed decisions based on a vehicle’s past, ultimately protecting themselves from potential risks and financial liabilities in the future.