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How to Check if a Car is Stolen in the UK

Car theft is an unfortunate reality that many vehicle owners face. However, there are steps you can take to protect yourself from becoming a victim. One crucial step is to check if a car you are considering purchasing, or even one you currently own, has been reported stolen. In the United Kingdom, there are several ways to do this.

The first step is to obtain the vehicle’s registration number. You can find this information on the V5C registration document or the vehicle’s number plate. Once you have the registration number, you can perform an online check through the DVLA’s Vehicle Information Service. This service will provide you with details about the vehicle, including whether it has been reported stolen.

Another option is to use the National Mobile Property Register (NMPR). This database contains records of stolen vehicles and other items. Simply input the registration number, and the NMPR will provide you with information on whether the vehicle has been reported stolen.

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If you suspect a car may be stolen, you can also contact the police. They have access to the Police National Computer (PNC), which contains records of stolen vehicles. Provide them with the registration number, and they will be able to confirm whether the vehicle is stolen.


1. Can I check if a car is stolen for free?
Yes, you can check if a car is stolen for free using the DVLA’s Vehicle Information Service or the National Mobile Property Register.

2. Can I perform a stolen car check for a car I already own?
Yes, it is recommended to check if your car has been reported stolen, especially if you purchased it from a private seller or suspect any foul play.

3. What should I do if I find out a car I own is stolen?
Contact the police immediately and provide them with all the necessary information. They will guide you through the process of recovering the vehicle.

4. Are there other ways to prevent car theft apart from checking if a car is stolen?
Yes, there are several preventive measures you can take, such as installing an immobilizer, using steering wheel locks, and parking your vehicle in well-lit areas.

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5. How can I report a stolen car?
Contact the police and provide them with all the relevant information about the stolen vehicle.

6. Can a stolen car be sold legally?
No, selling a stolen car is illegal. Always verify the vehicle’s ownership and history before purchasing.

7. What if I unknowingly purchased a stolen car?
Contact the police immediately and provide them with all the necessary information. They will guide you through the process of resolving the situation.