However I do remember a story about a petrol company promotion, where if your car registration number was revealed on a scratch card you win. This proved too much of a temptation for one or two Police officers who looked up the owner on the PNC and contacted them with a view to going halves on the winnings! I think now you have to give a reason for the check.
We have a system at work called VRM Lookup, (Vehicle Registration Mark) we type in the registration and the computer instantly dials into HPi and brings up details of the car including VIN and engine numbers, make, model, engine size, year of manufacture etc. The computer then narrows down the parts in its database to only those that will fit that car, great for Japanese and German cars but not so great for French and 'British' cars.
The information does not include any personal details on the owner for security reasons.