What is a MIAFTR Check?

April 10, 2023 by Zoe Hicks – 3 mins read

Don’t be a statistic by falling victim to car fraud. Motorscan’s premium car check service scans the MIAFTR and salvage auction sites to ensure the vehicle you’re interested in buying hasn’t been stolen, written off or sent to salvage—won’t that be a weight off your mind?

Most of us like to view the world full of honest, decent people. Indeed, when buying a used or second-hand car, perhaps our only concern is whether we’re about to buy a lemon rather than the audacious possibility that someone is about to scam us. However, despite our idyllic notion of humankind being fair and forthright, current statistics say that as much as one in ten car buyers in Britain fall victim to car fraud. Naturally, Motorscan doesn’t want that to happen to you, which is why we’ve put together our guide on the MIAFTR—what is that we hear you say? Read on to find out how this rather helpful database may just prevent you from falling victim to car fraud.

What is MIAFTR, and what does it stand for?

MIAFTR is the acronym for the Motor Insurers Anti-Fraud and Theft Register, operated and run by the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB). It is what the title infers, a register that records and keeps details of every vehicle written off and stolen in the UK.

So, what is a MIAFTR Check?

In a nutshell, it’s a scan of the MIB’s register to determine whether an insurance company has registered a stolen or written off car that you may be interested in buying.

Can you get a free MIAFTR check?

Unfortunately, the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB) don’t offer this information for free. It’s also not possible for individuals to do a check directly with the MIB, with access only open to companies and authorities such as the police, insurers and self-insured fleet companies. However, you can run a MIAFTR check as part of Motorscan’s premium car check, which also looks at a multitude of other data, such as checking for any outstanding finance, and whether it’s an ex-police, fire, taxi or NHS vehicle.

What is the role of MIAFTR?

Primarily, the role of the register is to assist in monitoring vehicles written off for insurance purposes and to help trace and recover stolen cars and other vehicles, ultimately helping detect fraud.

What is a salvage check?

A salvage history check comes standard with our premium car check service. It determines whether a vehicle has previously been damaged or stolen and sent to a salvage auction for disposal. And don’t forget, you can also find a magnitude of data with our free car check, although this option doesn’t scan the all-important MIAFTR.

What’s the difference between a salvage check and written off check?

When a MIAFTR check is performed, it looks to see whether a vehicle has been marked and written off by an insurer. Salvage vehicles don’t appear on the MIAFTR register but are instead vehicles seen and sold through salvage auction sites such as Copart or IAA. Ensuring both a salvage history check is carried out in conjunction with checking the MIAFTR will provide peace of mind, and with Motorscan’s premium car check, both are included as standard.

Does MIAFTR record every write-off/accident?

Insurance companies provide the details of any incidents to the Motor Insurers Bureau, which collates and records the data for the MIAFTR. As the scheme is voluntary, only those incidents reported by subscribed insurers will be registered. However, whilst not all thefts and write offs will be notified, the MIAFTR remains a vital tool in the fight against vehicle fraud and a necessary check in the car buying process to limit your exposure to car fraud.

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