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Check if a vehicle has been reported as stolen in the UK

Stolen Vehicle Check

As per UK law, if you were caught driving a car reported as stolen in police national computer, you are responsible for it. So, if you have decided to buy a second-hand car, take caution first. There are several ways to check if the vehicle is reported as stolen or has any other hidden history against its registration number plate.

Did you know? In the UK, around 89.4 thousand cases of vehicle thefts are recorded, and only 40% returns to their owners.

Can I check if a car is stolen by its VRM?

Enter the vehicle registration number into the field provided on a free vehicle history check website. It provides important vehicle data from the DVLA, police database and Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB).

This basic finding is a free check that assists in validating certain crucial information.

It will cost you just £9.99, but you will get complete peace of mind that you are not purchasing a vehicle that is reported stolen and has an adverse history like:

  • Live MOT & tax status
  • Outstanding finance against the car
  • Chassis number & engine number
  • And 30+ data points.

Our car history report will surely save you from buying a stolen vehicle. So, no need to worry; you are in good hands!

How to find the stolen reported car?

Stolen vehicles come to the market with a hidden identity, so you must take more precautions. While buying a second-hand vehicle, you must do

  • Verify the seller’s address and ensure it matches the address listed on the V5C logbook.
  • Avoid meeting in isolated locations such as pub car parks or lay-bys.
  • Never purchase a car if the seller cannot provide a V5C logbook.
  • Compare the details on the V5C document with the information on MOT documents and service history.
  • Look for a DVLA watermark on the logbook for authenticity.
  • Exercise caution if the logbook’s serial number falls between BG8229501 to BG9999030 or BI2305501 to BI2800000, as these ranges may indicate stolen documents.
  • Ensure that the VIN/chassis number on the car matches the one recorded in the logbook.
  • Exercise caution when encountering cars at significantly lower prices than their market value.
  • Avoid cash transactions, as they lack proof of purchase.
  • Consider investing a small amount in a police database check to authenticate the sale.
  • Remain vigilant regarding virtual vehicle scams when purchasing cars online.

What if by any means I bought a stolen car?

If you bought a stolen car unknowingly, the police have the legal right to seize the vehicle from you at any time mark it as stolen.

Secondly, if the marked vehicle is on the road, the ANPR camera detects the number plate & informs the police. If you get caught driving such a marked car, the police will hand over the car to the owner or insurance company.

And, it is hard for you to prove the vehicle is bought in good faith. Ultimately, you’ll lose your money spent on it and the car itself.

What to do if my car is stolen?

If your vehicle has been stolen, it is crucial to take the following steps:

  1. Contact the police (101): Call the local police immediately to report the theft of your vehicle.
  2. Notify your insurance company: Inform your insurance provider about the theft so that you can start filing an insurance claim.
  3. Inform the DVLA: Let the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) know if your insurance company compensates you for the stolen vehicle or if you sell it to them.
  4. Report any installed black box or GPS device to the police: If your vehicle has a black box or GPS tracking device, inform the police about it, as it can assist in locating your stolen vehicle.
  5. Apply to retain personalised number plates at If your stolen vehicle had personalised number plates, apply to keep your registration number through the website to prevent it from being reassigned to someone else.

What are the most stolen car models in the UK?

Did you know that vehicle theft remains a concerning issue in the UK? Shockingly, out of the approximately 61,106 reported stolen vehicles in 2022, only 28% were successfully recovered and returned to their owners.

Based on insightful research conducted by Riverdale Leasing, which obtained data through a Freedom of Information request to the DVLA, here are the most stolen car models in the UK during 2022:

  1. Ford Fiesta (5,979 thefts, up 53.0%)
  2. Range Rover (5,533 thefts, up 47.4%)
  3. Ford Focus (2,186 thefts, up 14.3%)
  4. VW Golf (2,036 thefts, up 16.0%), 
  5. Land Rover Discovery (1,845 thefts, up 11.2%).

While these statistics may be concerning, there are measures you can take to safeguard your vehicle from theft. Investing in a reliable alarm system, parking in well-lit areas, and being mindful of your surroundings effectively deter thieves. By making your car less vulnerable and increasing its security, you reduce the risk of becoming an easy target.

Can I claim my stolen car?

The belief is that you can’t get compensation for the stolen vehicle. Even if you have comprehensive coverage, the insurer or company will not protect against it.

However, if you have the proof of buying the car with good faith from a reputed dealer, only a few insurers can hear you. It’s better to take a respective step to avoid buying such stolen cars.


There are various factors to consider when buying a second-hand car, and in private dealings, many such cases are reported, and the buyer ends up facing them. So no need to buy the used car in the first place, but if you have no option left, then at least order a stolen car check to save your hard-earned cash.

Also, keep in mind that no one will provide you a free stolen car check – such people are fraudsters and make you believe that the car is not stolen without checking it.

Answering your questions

How can I avoid buying a stolen vehicle?

Buying a stolen vehicle is a serious offence that can lead to heavy fines and even jail time. As per the advice given by the police, you need to check how to protect a car from being stolen before you buy it.

Why run a stolen car check?

You don’t want any unknowns when you’re purchasing a used car.
Running a free stolen check lets you see if and when the car you’ve been considering is marked as stolen. You can then get in touch with the police for full details.

How is a stolen car recovered?

A recovered stolen car is one that was previously stolen, found quickly with minimal damage, and returned to its owner or registered keeper.

My car has been stolen: how do I tell the DVLA?

After settling your stolen vehicle claim, inform the DVLA by completing the V5C/3 section. Send a letter to the DVLA with your insurance payout details and include your insurance company’s information, claim date, and the stolen car’s registration.