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Buying a stolen vehicle is a serious risk. DVLA want to make consumers aware of their rights and provide advice to help you spot a con.
When buying a used vehicle from a private seller, dealer or auction house, make sure you know your consumer rights.
The steps the DVLA publish to take are as follows:
Here are some things to consider before you see the vehicle:
All these things can be checked before you see the vehicle, provided you have the details shown above. See vehicle check services for more information.
Cloning is the name for a criminal forgery involving altering paperwork and identity on a vehicle to make it appear legitimate, when in fact it is stolen.
DVLA registration documents always have a watermark, so hold the V5C up to the light to check for this sign of authenticity.
A seller will always have documents relating to the vehicle, for instance a bill of sale (receipt), service records from garages and an MOT certificate.
You should bear in mind that the V5C is not proof of ownership.
The V5C should be consistent across all documentation, so pay careful attention to it. If it looks like it's been tampered with then don't buy the vehicle.
If you see any of the following serial numbers on the V5C or the vehicle you should not go ahead with the sale and report it to the police as soon as possible.
BG8229501 to BG9999030
BI2305501 to BI2800000
If it looks like the VIN has been altered, or if the VIN is missing, don't buy the vehicle. You should also check:
Paying by cash is possibly the worst route to take as the payment cannot be cancelled should the vehicle turn out to be not what you expected.
Use a banking service and ensure the seller gives you a receipt.
Use DVLA's buyer checklist to print and take with you when looking at vehicles.
Last updated: Tuesday 31st July 2018