Warning. Buying A Used Vehicle


Active Member
Jun 1, 2002
Maserati Quattroporte : Brabus A200CDi D3 : E300TDT
I know most of our members are pretty streetwise about buying - but I stumbled across this today and thought I'd post it just as a reminder - :)

DVLA has today issued a warning to purchasers of used vehicles. They are advised to be particularly vigilant when checking the V5 registration document (logbook) accompanying such vehicles.

The Agency has recently become aware that suspected blank registration documents, destined for destruction, have been stolen. To date at least twenty documents have been used to accompany the sale of stolen cars which have had their identities changed to match those of legitimate or written off vehicles.

Police investigations are ongoing but early indications are that several hundred of these documents may be in circulation. It is not possible to be precise about the serial numbers of each of the stolen documents but they fall into the following two categories:

(a) Those that bear the prefix AP in their serial number (at the top left hand corner of document) and fall within the following ranges:

AP 8022601 to AP 8024400
AP 9424801 to AP 9426600
AP 9430201 to AP 9432000
AP 9435601 to AP 9437400
AP 9448201 to AP 9450000
AP 9435601 to AP 9437400

In some cases the document reference number at the bottom right hand corner of the form may be missing.

(b) Those that bear the prefix AN fall within the following ranges:

AN 8854201 to AN 8856000
AN 8857801 to AN 8859600
AN 8856001 to AN 8857800

These are faulty documents which, on close examination, will bear a serial number in slightly lighter print than the rest of the document. The serial number may also be out of alignment. These serial numbers were duplicated by the printer after the faulty batch was rejected and so there will also be genuine registration documents in circulation bearing these numbers. If members of the public wish to check whether the document they are holding is genuine they should ring DVLA's helpline on 0870 241 1878

DVLA strongly recommends that anyone considering purchasing a used car privately should take following practical steps to limit the chances of being sold a stolen vehicle:

Always have sight of the registration document V5 prior to purchasing a used vehicle.
Be satisfied that the seller owns the vehicle or is entitled to offer it for sale.
Ask the seller for proof of identity.
View the vehicle at the address shown on the registration document.
Check the vehicle identification number (VIN) - sometimes called the chassis number - corresponds with the number on the registration document. This number can usually be found on a metal plate under the bonnet.
If you have limited knowledge of vehicles take an experienced person with you.
Be wary of handing over cash to someone who has been contacted through a mobile number.
Check if the vehicle has been seriously damaged, notified as stolen or is subject to outstanding finance. The following companies provide this service for a fee - Carwatch UK Limited (Vehicle History Check) - 0870 010 7899, Experian (Car Data Check) - 0870 6000 838 and HPI Limited - 01722 422 422.
If anyone is offered a vehicle for sale accompanied by one of the stolen registration documents they should contact the police immediately.

Contact Numbers:

Press Enquiries 01792 782 318
Public Enquiries 0870 241 1878

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