Car owners – DVLA previous owners check – what information will you have access to?

Every time a new (or used) vehicle is first registered in the United Kingdom, a new record is added to the DVLA database. Almost majority of the data in the vehicle licensing statistics series are derived from vehicle database extracts of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

The database’s primary function is to manage car registration and licensing records. 

The brand, model, body type, colour, and size of the car, as well as some basic information on the keeper of the vehicle, such as the keeper’s postcode, are all recorded.

Vehicle manufacturers are typically responsible for registering new automobiles at the point of sale. The Automatic First Registration and Licensing (AFRL) system is used in the majority of cases, and all data entered in the database comes directly from the manufacturer’s records.

The keeper will register any vehicle that has been imported into the United Kingdom by an individual or that has been rehabilitated and brought back onto the road. The information is manually entered by DVLA personnel in these circumstances, as well as any new vehicle that is registered outside of the AFRL system.

DVLA records vehicle Body type for every vehicle:

These body styles refer to the vehicle’s physical construction rather than how it is being used. The following are the main body types that are used:

Cars are four-wheel vehicles that can carry no more than eight passengers and include persons, carriers, and all passenger-carrying vehicles (excluding the driver). Includes car-based private hire taxis (PHV – Private Hire Vehicles).

Motorcycles are two-wheeled vehicles with an engine, such as scooters, mopeds, and powerful electric motorcycles.

LGVs (light goods vehicles) and light vans (light vans) are two types of light goods vehicles. Vehicles with four wheels are designed to deliver cargo. They must be under 3.5 tonnes in gross weight.

Heavy freight vehicles: These vehicles are built to transport large amounts of cargo. They must be more than 3.5 tonnes in gross weight.

Minibuses (carrying no more than sixteen passengers) and all other passenger-carrying vehicles with nine seats or more (excluding the driver’s seat) are classified as buses and coaches.

Rear diggers, lift trucks, rollers, ambulances, Hackney Carriages, three-wheelers, tricycles, and agricultural vehicles are examples of other vehicles.

A car is either registered to an individual (private) or a business  (company). The vehicle keepers’ full names and addresses are not included in the data source for these figures; only the title of the keeper and the relevant postcode are included. Only the car’s keeper is responsible for registering and taxing the vehicle. The vehicle’s keeper is not always the owner or the driver.

A vehicle is deemed “between keepers” or “under disposal” when it is in the process of changing hands and has no keeper at that time. The keeper’s address does not have to be the same as where the car is stored physically, but it must be a place where the keeper can be reached. This is particularly important in the case of company cars, when national feet may be registered to a single administrative office. In the case of family use of a private vehicle or while renting a car from a car rental company, the keeper is not the same as the driver.

‘Missing’ or ‘incorrect’ model names:

The great majority of new vehicles are registered through the DVLA’s AFRL system, which receives data directly from manufacturers, as previously stated. Because the DVLA does not alter this data, any faults in the final data are almost always due to manufacturer errors.

Any errors in the final data for these vehicles are the consequence of either the person filling out the form or the DVLA operator keying the information into the system. Individual cars may, however, lack a model name or have one that appears to be inaccurate in the following circumstances:

  • Imported vehicles of models that have not been on general sale in the UK have no model codes (or are sold in the UK under a different make or model name). In these circumstances, the DVLA operator will either try to locate the closest, most reasonable match to the name on the V55 form, or register the vehicle in the  ‘model missing’ box.
  • The DVLA model names for modern vehicles on general sale in the UK are specified by the manufacturers. This usually excludes mark (or version) numbers, making it difficult to identify between vehicles with the same model name but distinct mark numbers in most circumstances.
  • Small-volume manufacturers who do not participate in the SMMT’s coding scheme frequently register their vehicles without specifying a model designation.

Any vehicle with a specified model name that cannot be found in the data sets will very certainly be classified as model missing.’

Correction to the DVLA database:

If a vehicle owner believes the V5 certificate for their car contains an error, they should contact the DVLA directly to get it remedied.

The data issues mentioned above are not database faults, but rather defects in the registration mechanism. As a result, it’s impossible to identify specific models from any of the missing categories or make any changes to the database’s model names.

As a result, it’s impossible to identify specific models from any of the missing categories or make any changes to the database’s model names.

Advantages and disadvantages of database maintenance:

In terms of the number of licensed vehicles and vehicles with a SORN, the DVLA database can be considered nearly complete. There will, however, be some inaccuracies in some of the precise characteristics of individual vehicles. The DVLA conducts regular Traceability Surveys to determine whether it is possible to trace the owner of any given vehicle and to determine which details on the database are incorrect. They predict that for around 89 percent of registered vehicles, every variable is correct. At least one of the fields will be incorrect in the remaining 11% of vehicles.

Approximately 4% of the total has incorrect information, making it hard to locate the vehicle’s registered owner.  The majority of the database’s mistakes are with minor characteristics like colour, while some will have an impact on the statistics presented here (for example, having the wrong CO2 g/km emission value or the wrong wheelbase). According to the Department of Transport, less than 2% of vehicle records had an error in one of the variables utilised in the statistics published.

Why do they need your data?

By submitting a subject access request,’ you can obtain information held by the DVLA about yourself. To process your request, you’ll need to supply them with information to help them verify your identity and locate the information you’re looking for.

Making a subject access request is free of charge. Unless the request is difficult.  In these circumstances,  you send an email explaining why there’s been a delay and when you can expect a response. If the information you seek is not related to your car or driving record, you must specify what additional information you require. If you want information about your current vehicle or a vehicle that was formerly registered in your name, you must supply more information.



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