Required documents

You can’t consider buying a car without these required documents. They help establish the car is legitimate. Never accept photocopies and always insist on the originals.

V5C registration certificate

Every new car sold in the UK is allocated a unique V5C registration certificate. This is issued by the DVLA as a crime prevention measure. The V5C contains details of the car and the person recorded as its registered keeper by the DVLA in Swansea.

Note: you will not be able to obtain car road tax without the V5C.

MOT certificate

All cars three years and older require an annual MOT test. When buying a car you must see the current MOT certificate (VT20) and preferably any previous certificates. For older cars, they often get lost.

However providing you have the car registration (number plate) and V5C document reference number, you can check up on MOT certificates issued after 2005. This will also show the vehicles registered mileage at each MOT.

Full Service History (FSH)

With older cars the full service history might not be available, but you should still be able to see recent garage receipts for repairs and servicing.

VIN vehicle identification number

The VIN on a car – unlike a number plate never legitimately changes. The VIN (vehicle identification number) is located on a metal plate in the engine compartment as well as other locations on the body of the car.

  • Make sure the same VIN number is in each location and also matches that on the V5C.
  • Check the VIN has  not been tampered with.
  • Check to see if any glass has been scratched – the VIN could have been scratched off.
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Buying a car

Other Young Car Driver information – buying a car

Required documents

If the seller can't produce the information then walk away...

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Vehicle identification number (VIN)

The car's VIN helps in the process of tracking a stolen car

If the VIN has been tampered with don't buy the car...

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