Advice on Buying A Used Vehicle

DVA strongly recommends that anyone considering buying a used car privately should take the following practical steps to limit the chances of being sold a stolen vehicle.

  • Always have sight of the Registration Certificate V5C(NI) prior to purchasing a used vehicle.
  • Be satisfied that the seller owns the vehicle or is entitled to offer it for sale.
  • Ask the seller for proof of identity.
  • View the vehicle at the address shown on the Registration Certificate V5C(NI). Be aware that some criminals have been known to rent property and sell vehicles from these premises.
  • Check the vehicle identification number (VIN) – sometimes called the chassis number – corresponds with the number on the Registration Certificate V5C(NI). This number can usually be found on a metal plate under the bonnet.
  • If you have limited knowledge of vehicles take an experienced person with you.
  • Be wary of handing over cash to someone who has been contacted through a mobile number.
  • Check if the vehicle has been seriously damaged, notified as stolen or is subject to outstanding finance. The following link shows companies who provide this service for a fee – Consumer Vehicle Check Companies.
  • If the vehicle has been seriously damaged, it may have to undergo a Vehicle Identity Check (VIC).
  • If you are offered a VIC Pass Certificate you should check it is genuine by telephoning DVA on 0845 402 4000 or International Tel :- +44 120 477 0768.
  • Contact the DVA help line on 0845 402 4000 or International Tel :- +44 120 477 0768 where details on the Registration Certificate V5C(NI) can be confirmed and general advice given.

If anyone is offered a vehicle for sale accompanied by a fraudulent Registration Certificate V5C(NI), they should contact their local police station immediately.

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