What is a VIN?

Vehicle Identification Number or commonly called “Chassis Number”

The VIN is a vehicle's TRUE identity. The standard adopted by most manufacturers is 17 digits long, a mix of letters and numbers (never I or i, O or o, Q or q, as these can be confused with 1s and 0s). To the trained eye, the VIN will reveal the make, model, production year and where the vehicle was built.

This is normally found on the passenger’s side of the windscreen, under the bonnet and embedded on the chassis and we recommend that you check more than one on the vehicle to ensure they match. You would also match this number on the V5C registration document (Log Book).

What is a VRM?

Vehicle Registration Mark (number plate)

Why is there no mileages for the vehicle?

We do not hold mileage records for every vehicle, this is due to the fact that all mileage records come from third parties. It is not a legal requirement to submit mileages.

MOT mileage entries can be obtained from this website (2011 entries onwards)

DVLA MOT History

Why did I not receive my report? (Failed payment)

It may have been a security check, carried out by your bank. It may also be that the account address does not match the address on the report.

What is DPA?

The Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) is a United Kingdom Act of Parliament which defines UK law on the processing of data on identifiable living people. It is the main piece of legislation that governs the protection of personal data in the UK. Although the Act does not mention privacy, in practice it provides a way in which individuals can control information about themselves. Most of the Act does not apply to domestic use, for example keeping a personal address book. Anyone holding personal data for other purposes is legally obliged to comply with this Act.

As far as we are aware the only way to get personal details of registered owners would be through the DVLA by applying for a V888 form aka the ‘Request by an individual for information about a vehicle’ form. However, it has to be requested under exceptional circumstances.

What is a private plate? (Cherished plate)

This is a number plate that is personalised and registered with the DVLA against the vehicle.

What is a written-off vehicle?

Write Off, Total Loss, Category Loss and Vehicle Condition Alert Register (VCAR) are all terms used to indicate that a vehicle has been in a severe accident.

The term 'Write off' describes a vehicle that an insurance assessor has deemed so accident damaged that it is not financially viable to repair it. In the UK, it will be classed under one of four categories depending on the extent of the damage.

Prior to 1st October 2017, they were classed as Categories A-D as follows:

Category Description
A A vehicle which should be totally crushed, including all its spare parts. The vehicle has not been repaired following extreme damage. It was deemed too damaged to be repairable with little or no salvageable parts.
B A vehicle from which spare parts can be salvaged, but the body shell should be crushed and the car should never return to the road.
C This vehicle was repairable, but the repair costs exceeded the vehicle value. The insurer chose not to repair for economic reasons.
D This vehicle was repairable, but the repair costs were significant compared to the vehicle value. The insurer chose not to repair for economic reasons.

As of 1st October 2017, the categories are A, B, S, N as follows:

Category Description
A (SCRAP) 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.
B (BREAK) This vehicle has been inspected by an appropriately qualified person and declared unsuitable or beyond repair.
S (STRUCTURAL) Repairable. This vehicle has been inspected by an appropriately qualified person and declared suitable for repair.
N (NON STRUCTURAL) Repairable. This vehicle has been inspected by an appropriately qualified person and declared suitable for repair.

How do I claim against the guarantee?

Complete and submit the Claims form located at: CMA

How do I use my credits in my Platinum Bundle?

If you click the link it will open the report on vehicle. At the top right hand corner it will state 'Log in or Register'.

Click on 'Register' and enter your email address and a password. Once this is done your remaining 3 credits will be allocated to your account.

From then on you can simply 'Log in' and use the credits yourself, or call the contact centre who can also use the credits for you.

What is a Unit Stocking Loan?

A common type of finance agreement used by motor dealers to enable them to fund the vehicles on their forecourt.

How much Finance is owed on the vehicle?

Due to Data Protection it is not possible to disclose the amount outstanding to anyone other than the registered owner. We can, however, tell you if there is finance outstanding.

Why don't you provide the full VIN number?

We are regulated by the DVLA and they do not allow us to disclose the full VIN, this is to help prevent car cloning and vehicle fraud.

What does SMMT stand for?

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders is the trade association for the United Kingdom motor industry. Its role is to promote the interests of the UK automotive industry at home and abroad.

Can you check for accidents?

We only report on written off category vehicles, there is no database that collates basic accident damage.

Can we have the finance companies’ details?

Finance company details can be provided with approval from the finance house.

How up-to-date is the information?

Dependant on which data source is being referred to, updates can take place hourly, daily, weekly and monthly.

Due to the sensitivity of some of the data sets we hold, we would restrict any further explanation of this being placed online.

Where does the data come from?

ABI: Association of British Insurers

DVLA: Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency

MIAFTR2: Motor Insurance and Anti-Fraud Register

PNC: Police National Computer

Finance Houses

SMMT: Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders

Epyx / Nama: Mileage sources

All of the above mentioned are industry-recognised databases and/or required data to carry out the full provenance check on any vehicle.

Do the checks include drive away insurance?

No they do not.

Where do you get your valuations from?

We have an in-house valuations team. Valuations are derived from monitoring market forces and actual sales data from auction houses and dealer groups.

Should I buy this vehicle?

We never advise on whether our customers should buy a particular vehicle or not. There are many reasons for this but a couple of the common sense reasons are: we will never get to see the vehicle and this is your money on the line. We would also urge all customers to be extra vigilant when approaching such large financial purchases. What we hope to provide is detailed information so consumers can make a more “informed” choice prior to any purchase.

Will my report be emailed to me?

We will generate and send you a PDF copy of your vehicle’s report for each check that you purchase. It will be sent to the email address that you supply. The mycarcheck app (IOS and Android) does not currently generate an emailed report.