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How do you check if a car has been stolen?

stolen vehicle check dvla

In the United Kingdom, it is estimated that there are circulating about 31,000 stolen vehicles. This number might seem small, but it still represents many people who have had their property taken from them without permission. 

As a used car buyer or dealer, you might be worried about buying a stolen car. Check the Police National Computer and National Insurance Database to see whether a vehicle has been reported stolen.

In the UK, it is the buyer’s responsibility to determine whether a car has been stolen. But don’t worry! You can take a few simple steps to check if a car is stolen before you buy it. By following these steps, you can make sure that the car you’re interested in is above-board and legal. 

What should I do if my vehicle has been stolen?

Don’t panic if the worst happens and you didn’t order a stolen car check and now realise you purchased a “ringed” or stolen car.

If your car has been stolen, immediately notify both the police and your insurance provider. Afterward, you can also submit an application for a car tax refund.

Inform the DVLA also. If your insurance company pays out a claim for your stolen vehicle, you must notify the DVLA that it has been sold.

Check to see if a car has been stolen online: 

Checking the history of your vehicle with an online car check or HPI check will provide you with complete peace of mind. 

This is because these checks will give you a wealth of information that is not readily available to the general public. 

You will be able to tell not only if the car has previously been stolen but also if it has been written off. 

You can also see if the vehicle has any outstanding finance and if the mileage needs to be corrected. 

For a few pounds, you can have complete peace of mind, which will go a long way toward protecting you and preventing you from purchasing a car with a bad history.

Is it possible to get a free stolen check?

Yes. The free stolen vehicle check offered by has restrictions, so be aware of them.

Finding out whether or not a used vehicle has ever been stolen is a smart idea if you plan to purchase one.

Our vehicle history report will tell you if there are any outstanding finance agreements on the car or if it has been reported as stolen.However, running a history check is essential in checking for any red flags. 

Why should I bother about a stolen car check?

In order to check if a vehicle is stolen, we check the Police National Database and other resources. The registration number is all we need to complete this.You can do this easily and quickly online.  

 Our stolen checks include logbook verification checks, live tax status checks, MOT status checks, and if the vehicle has been written-off.

Is my car stolen? Will I get back my money?

It’s unlikely that you’ll get your money back if you unknowingly purchase a stolen car. If you have coverage, If your insurance provider does cover the purchase of stolen vehicles, they will first conduct an investigation (which could take several months) before deciding to pay out.

This is done to eliminate the possibility of fraud and ensure that the car has been stolen.

The length of time it takes to help find a stolen vehicle and its condition after recovery both have an impact on what happens next.

What checks should I perform before buying a used car?

Check that the MOT status and history match the information you’ve been given, and check if the vehicle has been recalled due to any serious safety issues. If all of these conditions are met and you decide to inspect the vehicle, request to see the V5C registration certificate and ensure it has a DVL watermark.

Also, each and every car in the UK must have a DVLA-registered V5C certificate. This document proves that the person selling the car is the true owner of the vehicle. 

How do you check if a car is not stolen?

The Auto Experts stolen car check determines whether a vehicle has a live theft status – reports are conducted by registration number and determine whether a vehicle is legal to purchase. This database searches police records and the national insurance system for detailed, accurate information. 

Carrying out a stolen car check is the best decision before buying a used vehicle. This helps let you know if the car has not been involved in any illegal activity.


Checking whether or not a car is stolen is relatively simple if you know what steps to take. You can protect yourself from accidentally buying a stolen car by asking to see the V5C registration certificate, running a history check on the vehicle, and asking for proof of ID from the seller. 

 If something seems too good to be true, it probably is!

Answering your questions

Why should I perform a stolen car check before buying a used vehicle?

Over 74,700 cars were reported stolen, according to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), a rise of more than 20,000 from the previous year. And if you look further into the figures, this averages out at around 200 stolen cars per day.

What is the purpose of conducting the stolen car check?

Conducting a stolen car check is a responsible step when purchasing any used vehicle. It empowers you to make a safe and informed decision, protecting you from legal and financial complications from buying a stolen car.

How to check if my car was stolen?

With The Auto Experts premium check, you can rely on our accredited data for complete confidence that your car is being sold lawfully.

    • A comprehensive check – Our data is thorough and detailed to help you make an informed decision when purchasing a vehicle

    • Backed by police data – Our police checks will ensure complete accuracy on your vehicle’s history

    • Peace of mind – A £30,000 data guarantee backs our checks, so you are fully covered in any inaccuracies.

    • Excellent customer service – Our team are on hand every step of the way to respond to any queries you might have about your vehicle.

What’s included in the stolen check report?

It includes records of stolen, mileage records, mot, export data & more. If you upgrade to our complete report package, you’ll also get checked for hidden finance charges and gain coverage from our £30k data guarantee.