Glossary Of Checks & Data Fields


Important Checks

Colour Changes

If the vehicle has ever been re-sprayed to a different colour, the DVLA should have been informed and it will be recorded in your report, including the date of the change and the original colour of the vehicle.

If the vehicle has changed colour but the DVLA were not informed, this may have been part of an attempt to hide the vehicles true identity.

Exported

This will tell you if this vehicle is recorded by the DVLA as having been exported to a country outside the UK.

If a vehicle is exported to a country outside of the UK and then is subsequently imported back in, the vehicle will no longer be marked as exported by the DVLA.

If the seller is unaware that a vehicle has been recorded by the DVLA as exported than they will not be able to provide a full explanation of its history and you should be very aware of the high risks this brings.

Imported

This will tell you if according to the DVLA the vehicle you are checking has been previously used outside of the UK

This may be something you are expecting if you are buying a vehicle from abroad from example, but if you were not expecting this you should ensure you understand why the vehicle was previously used outside of the UK.

Mileage Issues

If a vehicle appears to have a decrease in the reading recorded on the odometer between MOTs, or if the reading have been entered in conflicting measurement scales, we will highlight this fact with this important check.

Outstanding Finance

This indicates whether a vehicle has an outstanding finance agreement registered against it by a financial institution.

Plate Changes

This indicates whether a vehicle has had a legitimate registration plate change since April 1990, and all associated details.

Previous Plates

A vehicle can legally change the registration plate it displays by informing the DVLA. A vehicle may undergo several plate changes in its lifetime as it changes ownership. Vehicle registrations can be purchased from the DVLA and other third party resellers.

People change plates to personalise their vehicles, but they can also change them to attempt to hide the vehicle's history. This information can assist buyers in asking the seller about the vehicles history to ensure they are satisfied that the vehicle history is clear.

Scrapped

This will tell you if according to the DVLA the vehicle you are checking has been marked as scrapped. This means it should not be on the road in any form and is only suitable for the scrap yard.

Stolen

This check highlights vehicles that have identified as being currently stolen in both the Police National Computer and the motor insurance anti-fraud and theft register. We advise you follow the advice guide we publish to help avoid becoming the victim of stolen vehicle crime.

Criminals almost always replace the registration plates of vehicles they have stolen when they attempt to sell them. This is why it is incredibly important that you check that the VIN number matches the registration plate, as this is the strongest indicator that the vehicle has been stolen or cloned/ringed.

These vehicles remain the property of the individual or organisation from whom it was stolen. You must never buy a vehicle that is recorded as stolen because you stand to lose both the vehicle and the money you paid for it.

Any attempt to knowingly sell a vehicle that has been scrapped is illegal. You should not buy a vehicle that has been marked as scrapped as it may be very unsafe.

Unscrapped

This will tell you if according to the DVLA the vehicle you are checking was once marked as scrapped and subsequently had that marker removed. You should investigate to find out why this happened.

Understanding why a vehicle has been scrapped and then unscrapped will help you decide if it is a safe decision to purchase the vehicle.

VIC inspected

If a vehicle has been VIC inspected, it means either its identity has been called into question, or it was written off by a insurance company and attempted to be returned to the road. Either way, you should be very wary of vehicles like this.

The test itself compares the details DVLA has about the car against the car itself. It takes place at a DVSA centre.

Written Off

This will tell you if a vehicle has been subject to an insurance total loss claim (categories A, B, C and D), because of damage or because it has been stolen and not recovered. This check looks at the data supplied by the insurance industry to find out if a vehicle has ever been written off.

You should not buy a vehicle that has been identified as written off in this way as it may be stolen and remains the property of the individual or organisation from whom it was stolen.

Vehicle Details

Body Style

A description of the physical shape of the vehicle. This gives the user an idea of the shape and size of the vehicle.

Colour

This is the colour of the vehicle as recorded by the DVLA. This is a very basic description of the colour.

Engine Size

This describes the size of the engine. It can be used as a good indicator of the power of the vehicle.

Fuel Type

This describes the classification of fuel that the vehicle needs to operate. Generally this will be petrol or diesel, but there are other alternative such as electricity.

Manufacturer

This is the name of the company that made the vehicle. Popular manufacturers for example are, BMW, Renault and Ford.

Model

Each manufacturer gives its vehicles a name, this is commonly known as the model and is used to differentiate between vehicles from the same manufacturer. For example, Renault make many models of vehicle, like the Clio, or the Megane.

No. Of Doors

This describes the number of doors on the vehicle, and can include the boot as a door (This is why you will often see a vehicle described as having 3 or 5 doors.).

No. Of Gears

This is the number of gears available in the vehicle, this includes forward gears and reverse, therefore the most common number of gears is six, five forward gears and one reverse gear.

No. Of Seats

The total number of seats in the vehicles.

Transmission Type

This describes how a driver changes gears in the vehicle. Generally speaking this will generally be either manual or automatic.

VIN (Ends With)

VIN stands for 'Vehicle Identification Number' and is a unique serial number used by the automotive industry to identify individual motor vehicles. The VIN number is associated with a particular vehicle registration number, i.e. your registration plate. Criminals often replace the registration plate on vehicles they steal, so checking that the VIN matches the number plate is the most important check to ensure the vehicle is not stolen. Here we show you the last four characters so you can compare with the VIN on the vehicle.

Mileage Information

Last MOT Mileage

This is the value recorded on the odometer at the last MOT.

Avg. Annual Mileage

This is the average distance travelled each year between MOT's.

Mileage Last Year

This is the actual distance travelled between the last two recorded MOT's.

Ownership

Current Ownership

This is the duration the current keeper has had the vehicle since the report was completed.

Current Keeper Acq.

This is the date the vehicle was acquired by the current keeper.

Manufacture Date

This is the date the DVLA have as being the date the vehicle was manufactured.

No. Of Previous Keepers

This is the number of owners that have legally kept the vehicle since it was manufacturer. Every time the ownership of a vehicle changes the DVLA are informed, and this field represents the total number of keepers.

A high number of previous keepers might indicate a mechanical issue with the vehicle and you should always investigate to find out why a vehicle has had a large number of previous keepers.

Registration

This is date the DVLA have recorded as the first time the vehicle was registered with them, which is a process that has to occur before the vehicle can be legally used.

Prev. Keeper Acq.

This is the date the vehicle was acquired by the previous keeper.

Prev. Keeper Sold

This is the date the vehicle was sold by the previous keeper.

Vehicle Age

This is the approximate age of the vehicle, calculated from the date of manufacturer until today.

Engine Specification

Alignment

This is a technical description of how the engine sits in the vehicle. It describes how the engine is mounted in the context of the crankshaft and long axis.

BHP

Also known as Brake Horse Power. This is the common measure of an engine's power, it is an imperial value. The larger the value the more power the vehicle has. Its name is a historical reference to the industrial revolution when a stream powered engine was measured by the number of horses it could replace.

Cylinders

This describes the quantity and the way in which the engine cylinders are laid out in the engine. Common layouts are 'Inline' and 'V'.

Engine No.

This is a unique reference number etched onto the engine of a vehicle. It can be used to help confirm the identity of a vehicle and is an important check before you buy a used vehicle.

Fuel Delivery

This describes the system used for admitting fuel to the vehicle engine. The most common method is 'Injection'.

Position

This describes the place the engine can be found in the vehicle. Often this is either at the front or rear of the vehicle.

Power Output

This is the metric measurement of Brake Horse Power, and again, measures the power output of a vehicles engine.

Valves

This is the number of valves the engine of the vehicle possesses.

Other Specification

Euro Status

This is a European engine status marker value.

Height

This is a measure of the distance between the base of the vehicle and the highest point of the vehicle chassis.

Length

This is a measure of the distance across the length of the vehicle, from the front of the vehicle to the rear.

Top Speed

This is a measure of the top speed the vehicle is capable of travelling.

Vehicle Type

This is a description of the classification of vehicle, the most common being 'Car'.

Weight

This refers to the gross weight of the vehicle and is measured in kilograms.

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Width

This is a measure of the distance across the width of the vehicle at the widest point.