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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. The website provides important vehicle data from the DVLA, police database, and Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB).

This primary finding is a free check that validates 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
  • The chassis number & engine number
  • And 30+ data points.

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

How do you find the stolen reported car?

Stolen vehicles come to the market with a hidden identity, so you must take more precautions. When buying a second-hand car, 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.
  • Please 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.

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

It is also difficult for you to prove that the vehicle was bought in good faith. Ultimately, you’ll lose your money and the car itself.

What are the most stolen car models in the UK?

Did you know that vehicle theft remains a concerning issue in the UK? Car thefts surged in 2023, averaging a theft every eight minutes. The DVLA recorded 64,087 stolen cars, marking a nearly 5% increase from the prior year’s 61,106 reported thefts.

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 2023:

  1. Ford Fiesta – 5,976 stolen 
  2. Ford Focus – 2,120 stolen 
  3. VW Golf – 2,038 stolen 
  4. Mercedes-Benz C-Class – 1,786 stolen 
  5. Range Rover Sport – 1,631 stolen 

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

If You Suspect a Stolen Vehicle:

  • Contact the Police: Report your suspicions immediately by calling 101. Provide all available details about the vehicle and seller.
  • Don’t Engage with the Seller: Avoid confrontation and cease communication to ensure your safety.

Following these steps can significantly reduce the risk of unknowingly buying a stolen car. Remember, a little caution goes a long way in securing your investment and peace of mind!


There are various factors to consider when buying a second-hand car, and in private dealings, many such cases are reported, and the buyer faces them. So, there is no need to buy a 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, remember that no one will provide you with a free stolen car check—such people are fraudsters who will 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. According to 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 stolen check lets you see if and when the car you’ve been considering is marked as stolen. You can then contact the police for full details.

How is a stolen car recovered?

A recovered car is 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, complete the V5C/3 section and inform the DVLA. Send a letter to the DVLA with your insurance payout details, including your insurance company’s information, claim date, and the stolen car’s registration.