Find Car Owner By Registration
When a flashy and expensive car rushes past you with a personalised number plate, you might be desperate to know who the owner is and what they’re doing there…. But getting personal information on any car owner is not a straightforward process. And you’ll need to have a good reason to request it.
While most car history checks will cover the number of previous owners, a car has had to help you establish whether you’re buying a quality vehicle or one that’s been around the block a few too many times, getting any actual information about who the previous (or current) keepers are is a bit more complicated.
Can I get a previous car owner’s information using the registration plate?
Under most circumstances, you will need more information about a vehicle than just the registration number to determine who the previous or current owner is.
If you really need contact information for a vehicle’s keeper (past or present), you’ll need to write to the DVLA directly and complete the relevant V888 form (more on this later).
That said, you can get a lot of information regarding a used car from just the registration number. This detail is the most important thing to have when trying to find information about a vehicle, and is also the easiest piece of information to get.
Will a previous vehicle owner check give me information about the owner?
Simply put, no. A previous vehicle owner check will provide you with information regarding the number of keepers a car has had in the past, along with the dates they were registered with the DVLA. These car history checks can also provide you with details, including the first registration of the vehicle and its age, plus a full description including the make, model, colour, engine size, and much more.
A more comprehensive check can also let you know whether the car has changed colour over the years and whether there are any more important aspects to consider. For example, whether the vehicle has any car outstanding finances against it or if it’s been reported as stolen.
Even an HPI check won’t provide you with personal information regarding a vehicle’s owners, as this would be in breach of UK privacy laws. However, in most circumstances, the information uncovered by a car history check will be more than sufficient.
Where can I get information about a car’s previous or current owner?
If you really need to get in touch with a previous or current keeper of a vehicle, you can only do so directly through the DVLA. You will need to submit a written application for the information along with a V888 form (there are different types of these forms depending on who you are). You can easily download the relevant documents from the DVLA website, but it’s not quite that simple…
What do I need to get this information?
To access the personal information of a vehicle’s keeper, the DVLA will need to establish that you have “reasonable cause” to access the data. This is so the DVLA can ensure they’re adhering to UK privacy laws and aren’t just giving out personal information to anyone who asks for it.
As per the DVLA website, you may be permitted access to a vehicle owner’s personal information if one or more of the following instances arise:
1. You need to find out who was responsible for an accident involving the vehicle
2. You need to locate the owner of an abandoned vehicle
3. A vehicle is parked on private property
4. The distribution of parking tickets
5. The vehicle owner has trespassed and needs to be charged
6. The owner may be involved in a crime
7. The owner is suspected of insurance fraud
You can request this information for your own needs or on behalf of a business (for example, a private car parking firm). You will have the ability to select the relevant reason for your request while completing the V888 form.
Why are there multiple V888 forms?
The simple reason for the DVLA having different versions of the owner information request form is down to money. While the DVLA will provide information to an individual (provided they fall under an authorised reason to request the data) free of charge, however companies or businesses will need to pay a fee to access the information.
If you need to submit a previous vehicle owner information request as an individual, then you’ll need to complete the straightforward V888 form. To access the owner’s name and address, you’ll need to complete the form V888/2A.
If you’re submitting your request on behalf of a company, then you’ll need to complete the V888/3 document.
Both of these documents can be downloaded from the DVLA website and are relatively straightforward to complete.
It is important to remember that it’s a criminal offence to lie on these forms or otherwise mislead the DVLA in any way, so be sure to complete this document as honestly and accurately as possible.
What information can I get from a car history check?
If you don’t have “reasonable cause” to uncover the information regarding a car’s owner and are looking to buy a used car, you can still get plenty of information by running a car history check.
No, these checks won’t give you the owners’ name and address, but they will let you know how many owners the car has been through and when each keeper registered with the DVLA. This is useful information as it can give you an idea of how well maintained the vehicle is or any potential problems with the car.
You can run a quick, easy, and free car history check in seconds, using just the car’s registration number. Alternatively, there are more comprehensive and thorough checks that you can complete on a used car for a small fee. These extensive checks also need the vehicle’s registration number and contain pretty much everything you could need to know about the car.