Number Plate Check

Car Guide gives you peace of mind when buying a new used car. We do quick history reports by using our number plate check, all you need is the UK number plate.

Are you looking at buying a car? Do you wonder if you’re covering yourself by making all the appropriate checks?

Well, checking for number plate changes is a great place to start. There are many different reasons for changing the plates on a car. The most obvious one is to swap to personalised plate/private number plate. 

Changes like these are mainly for styles, either to coincide with a brand or an individual. However, there are other reasons to change plates, and if not checked, these could leave you in a vulnerable position as a buyer. 

If a car has been involved in a ‘not-so squeaky clean’ past, some people change the registration plate to hide the car’s true identity. Issues can range from being written-off in an accident to being stolen. 

All of them leave you vulnerable, which is why carrying out a number plate check can save you time and money. 

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So what does it mean if the used car you’re looking to buy has had a number plate change? 

First of all, don’t worry. Just contact the seller; they should be upfront about the situation and be able to provide all supporting documentation; even if the owner changed the plates before them. From there, you can discover why the plates were changed and what it means for you as a buyer. If it’s a case of personalised number plate it’s nothing to worry about, as long as the plates were legally changed back. 

If you stumble upon something that you don’t understand or seems a little more sinister, contact a professional or as we say – walk away from the purchase. Sometimes a good deal is too good to be true. The last thing you want is to be pulled over by the police and be involved in something more severe. A free vehicle history check can be done at Car Guide. 

This will tell you if there has ever been a change of number plates on the vehicle. All you need is the car’s registration, making the free car check easier than all the rest. It will give you the information you need to know before making any further decisions about the car. 

For a small fee we can give you details of outstanding finance, insurance write offs, flag any stolen cars and give you the cars history. If a car has had its plates changed, you can find more in-depth information about it from the DVLA, although this may incur a fee and you’ll need more in-depth documentation from the seller. 

The next level of checks can show you just how much of an issue the plate change can be and whether you should stay away from the car or not. Car Guide is the perfect site to help you unveil any issues with a used car. That’s right; there are more checks to be made when purchasing a used car than just a number plate check.

Other checks to do before purchasing a used car


The previously mentioned free car check through Car Guide can help start your safe search. While it can help you discover if there have ever been any number plate changes, it can also include the following.

Full MOT history check


This part of the free check is another big tick on the list of how to spot a bad used car. An MOT history for a vehicle can tell you a lot. It might show some advisories and failures that were quickly resolved and only occurred as a result of wear and tear, but it can also signpost some red flags. 

When a car has persistent technical or mechanical faults, it can show signs of a deeper problem with the vehicle, which could make a deep dent in your wallet. 

It’s down to you to weigh up the pros and cons and whether the car is still worth the money, but at least you can get a clearer idea of what you’re buying.

Imported or exported?


A free number plate check can also tell you if a car has been imported. A vehicle that is manufactured overseas may cost less to purchase, but it might not have the legal safety checks that are required in the UK. 

This means your insurance could be higher or worse, if you got into an accident, you wouldn’t be protected in the same way. 

If a car has been imported, your next steps should be to check out how much your insurance is and have a professional check that safety measures are in place. That way you can purchase like a pro!

Number of owners


It’s common for a used car to have multiple owners, but there is such a thing as too many.

A lot of owners could show a lack of care for the vehicle or, continual issues that an MOT hasn’t picked up.

An MOT is an annual legal check, but if a car breaks down and is fixed, this information may not show on an MOT.

If it’s possible, see if the seller has any service history or documentation surrounding the work the car has had done. 

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