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How to run a background check on an auction car

If you decide to buy a car at auction, no matter what the reason for purchasing the vehicle it is essential that you find out some information before making a bid. This is because there may be problems with the car that you were unaware of and there may be more charges when it comes to fixing and taxing the car than you expected.

You can very easily find out some information about the car you are interested in via the car auction website. If you are buying through, an online car auction website, then you will have access to key information about the vehicle before putting in a bid. However, if you want to do a little more digging then there are options you can take.


Why run a background check?

If you’re serious about buying a car at auction, it can be a good idea to look into a background check beforehand just to ensure that everything is okay with the car. Often people find that there are sometimes outstanding finances on the car as a result of the previous owner forgetting to cancel their payments. However, it can be more serious if you discover that the car has been stolen, this is where checks especially come in handy.

There are basic checks that are relatively easy to obtain such the original number plate and year of registration, and a lot of vehicles come with a service history. If you want to dig deeper into the information about the car, you will have to pay a company to do so. But you must decide whether this is worth the cost in-case you are outbid on the vehicle.


How to run a background check

Before you spend money using a private company to do a background check on the car, you can first do some basic checks of your own absolutely free using the DVLA website. In order to find more information, you’ll need the make and model of the car, registration number and the MOT test number. From here, there is a variety of different information that you will discover that may be useful to your purchase.


What results will I receive from a background check?

Depending on which service you use depends on what information you will receive about the car. However, once you have given the details listed above, you can usually find out:

  • The year the car was manufactured
  • The original colour of the car
  • The size of the engine
  • The tax rates
  • When the MOT expires
  • If the vehicle has been stolen
  • If the car is registered to the right number plate
  • When the tax expires
  • Volume of CO2 emissions
  • If the vehicle is placed under SORN (Statuary Off Road Notification)


If you’re looking to discover more in-depth information about the car before making a bid this is where paid services come in handy. There are a number of checks that paid services can do to discover whether:

  • The car should have been scrapped
  • An estimated valuation
  • Logbook check
  • If there are any outstanding finances
  • Number of previous owners
  • Mileage discrepancies
  • VIN/chassis check
  • Any safety recall data

If you do not need a lot of information about the vehicle, then it may be possible to use the free DVLA service to do the background checks on the car. That way you aren’t incurring any extra charges on a vehicle that you may not even get. However, if because the car is used or has been a write-off you want to be extra careful, then paid background checks can offer you as much information as you need.


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