About Our Checks


Here you can discover more about the sources of data that collectively form the vehicle history check.

Quick links below:


Written Off Vehicle Data

The way written off vehicles are classified changed as of the 1st October 2017. A summary can be found below, for full details see: The official Association of British Insurers code of practice.

It is important to note that you can only reveal full written off vehicle information by purchasing a full vehicle history check, our free check does not provide data from the MIAFTR database.

This data comes from a database known as MIAFTR (Motor insurance fraud and theft register) and includes a record of UK vehicles that insurance companies have recorded as being 'written off'.

Pre 1st October 2017 Classifications

If a vehicle was written off before 1st October 2017 it will be classified as A, B, C or D,

Summary

  • Category A - Total Loss (no salvageable parts)
  • Category B - Total Loss (some salvageable parts)
  • Category C - Vehicle damaged but repairable (more severe than Category D).
  • Category D - Vehicle damaged but repairable.

Detail

The definition of each category can be found in the below table:

Category ACategory BCategory CCategory D

What does this category mean?

The vehicle has not been repaired following extreme damage. It was deemed too damaged to be repairable with little or no salvageable parts.

The vehicle has not been repaired following significant damage. It was deemed too damaged to be repairable however did have salvageable parts.

This vehicle was repairable, but the repair costs exceeded the vehicle value. The insurer chose not to repair for economic reasons.

This vehicle was repairable, but the repair costs were significant compared to the vehicle value. The insurer chose not to repair for economic reasons.

Why may the insurer not have repaired the vehicle?

The inspecting engineer considered the vehicle extensively damaged and therefore un-repairable. It has little or no salvageable parts.

The inspecting engineer considered the vehicle too damaged to be repaired, however there is value in its spare parts.

The inspecting engineer considered the vehicle repairable, however the costs exceeded the Pre Accident Value of the vehicle. This marker is not an indication that a vehicle is un-roadworthy, but that the insurance company involved in the claim has made the decision not to repair it purely for economic reasons.

The inspecting engineer considered the vehicle repairable, however the costs were fairly significant (i.e. greater than 50 % of the Pre Accident Value). This marker is not an indication that a vehicle is un-roadworthy, but that the insurance company involved in the claim has made the decision not to repair it purely for economic reasons.

What scale of damage may the vehicle have had?

This vehicle would have had extreme damage e.g. burnt out, completely destroyed, extreme chassis or bodyshell/frame damage or totally submerged in water. The insurer considered this vehicle to have NIL value.

This vehicle would have had significant damage e.g. extensively damaged, bent chassis or bodyshell/frame or half submerged in water. The insurer considered this vehicle to have some value as salvageable parts (e.g. greater than £50).

The damage level varies greatly for a Cat C vehicle. The damage may be quite extensive (but not structural) on a fairly new car, however in contrast the damage may be very light on an old car. This vehicle may have been submerged in water up to the floor level. This category is purely an economically constructed total loss. It simply states that the insurer chose to not repair the vehicle for economic reasons.

The damage level varies greatly for a Cat D vehicle. The damage may be quite significant on a fairly new car, however in contrast the damage may be very light on an old car. This category is purely an economically constructed total loss. It simply states that the insurer chose to not repair the vehicle for economic reasons.

Post 1st October 2017 Classifications

If a vehicle was written off after 1st October 2017 it will be classified as A, B, S or N,

Summary

  • Category A - Total Loss (no salvageable parts)
  • Category B - Total Loss (some salvageable parts)
  • Category S - Vehicle has been damaged structurally, vehicle is repairable
  • Category N - Vehicle has been damaged, damge to the vehicle has been noted as NON-structural, vehicle is repairable

Detail

The definition of each category can be found in the below table:

Category A (SCRAP)Category B (BREAK)Category S (STRUCTURAL)Category N (NON STRUCTURAL)

What does this category mean?

This vehicle has been inspected by an appropriately qualified person, declared unsuitable or beyond repair and has been identified to be crushed in its entirety.

This vehicle is deemed not suitable to be repaired. Must be crushed without any parts being removed. This vehicle will be classed as waste.

This vehicle has been inspected by an appropriately qualified person and declared unsuitable or beyond repair.

The vehicle is deemed not suitable to be repaired. Usable parts can be recycled. This vehicle will be classed as waste.

This vehicle has been inspected by an appropriately qualified person and declared suitable for repair.

Repairable vehicle which has sustained damage to any part of the structural frame or chassis and the insurer/ self-insured owner has decided not to repair the vehicle.

This vehicle has been inspected by an appropriately qualified person and declared suitable for repair.

Repairable vehicle which has not sustained damage to the structural frame or chassis and the insurer/ self-insured owner has decided not to repair the vehicle.

While the damage to the vehicle has been noted as non-structural, there may still be some safety critical items that require replacement e.g. steering and suspension parts.


Stolen/Recovered Vehicle Data

This data also comes from two sources, the Police National Computer, which records all vehicles reported to the police as stolen, and also MIAFTR (Motor insurance fraud and theft register), when an insurance firm becomes aware that a vehicle is stolen they place a marker against the vehicle in the MIAFTR database. Similarly, if the vehicle is recovered, but classified as a total loss (see above).

Theft/StolenRecovered - Total Loss

What is this loss type?

This vehicle was recorded with a theft marker on the date provided. It does not necessarily indicate that the vehicle remains stolen.

This vehicle was recorded as a theft and subsequently recovered on the date provided. The vehicle upon recovery was deemed a total loss by the insurer. Please see Category descriptions for further information.


Outstanding Finance Data

Outstanding finance data is a data set that helps to highlight if a vehicle has a current financial agreement registered against it. If a vehicle has a financial agreement registered against it, such as a 'Hire Purchase Agreement', you will always want to speak to the owner of the vehicle about how the agreement will be settled before purchasing the vehicle. This check will also give you the contact details of the finance company that has registered the finance agreement, so you can contact them to establish if the financial agreement has been settled prior to purchase.

Outstanding Finance Data is provided by Experian Ltd. Experian Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Experian Ltd is registered in England and Wales under company registration number 653331. Registered office address: The Sir John Peace Building, Experian Way, NG2 Business Park, Nottingham, NG80 1ZZ.


Vehicle Specification Data

The source of this data is the DVLA (driver and vehicle licensing agency). This data contains the core data on the specification of the vehicle as well as some insight into the history of the vehicle.

Some of the important data contained in this dataset is:

  • Imported
  • Exported
  • Scrapped
  • Unscrapped
  • Colour changes
  • Plate Changes
  • V5C Issue Date

You can see a list of the full 47 data fields contained within this dataset by reading: The DVLA bulk data-set information for vehicles buyers


CO2 Emissions and Fuel Economy Data

This data is supplied by the VCA in an open fashion, and contains lots of useful information about the CO2 emissions, fuel economy and running costs of a vehicle.

We turn it into a useful certificate that you can use to compare between vehicles.

(Example below)

CO2 emissions certificate

Vehicle Safety Branch Recalls Data

This data is also supplied by the VCA.

If a fault is discovered in a vehicle make or model after manufacturing it might be recalled. As a result these safety recalls are generally very serious, ignoring them can lead to the issue getting worse and the vehicle becoming very dangerous to drive. The data contains information on the makes and models affected and descriptions of issue that has led to the safety recall.


Vehicle Crime Geo-location Data

This data is supplied by the police forces of the UK via the Police.uk API.

We enable users of totalcarcheck.co.uk to enter a location, which may be a post code, town or street name and then we display them a map outlining the number of vehicle crimes that have been recorded in that area.

The date contains the following fields:

  • Date of reported crime
  • Street or location of reported crime
  • Outcome Status

We have to say a special thanks to the following organisations: (who all helped us get to the finish line)

  • The Open Data Institute

    The Open Data Institute is catalysing the evolution of open data culture to create economic, environmental, and social value. It helps unlock supply, generates demand, creates and disseminates knowledge to address local and global issues.

  • The Open Data User Group

    If you have a data release problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them (hint: http://data.gov.uk/odug) maybe you can call the ODUG team. (or submit a dataset request on their website)

  • Nesta

    Nesta is an innovation charity with a mission to help people and organisations bring great ideas to life.

  • The Government Digital Services Team

    Delivering 'Digital by Default' across government (simpler, clearer, faster)

  • The Cabinet Office Transparency Team

    The cabinet office say 'Openness and transparency can save money, strengthen people's trust in government and encourage greater public participation in decision-making.', and we wholeheartedly agree.