There are a number of ways you can get free data about a car and its history. Let's see what we can find out about this Lamborghini Gallardo Spider, registration number DS56 LUP and up for sale on Auto Trader on the 16th of October (for £62,995 if you are feeling a little flush?).
From The DVLA
This should be your first port of call. All you need are the car's make and model and its registration number. Go to the DVLA's free car history check and tap in the registration plate and manufacturer of the vehicle. It'll then give you the details of the date it was first registered, when its current tax expires, when its MOT test is due (if it has one), the SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) status, the car's year of production, its current tax category and rate, the colour the vehicle should be, its CO2 emissions (assuming it's not a Volkswagen) and the car's engine size in cc.
The Private Data Companies
We detail all of the car data check companies on the front page. Sometimes they offer some small nuggets of information. Below you can see what they offer:
Free Car Data Check With HPI
HPI don't offer any free details.
Free Vehicle Check With The AA
The AA will tell you the vehicle's engine size and year of manufacture for free.
The RAC Give A Little More Free Data Than The AA
The RAC check will give you same as the AA's check but also tell you the colour as well.
AutoTrader's Vehicle Check
AutoTrader's check doesn't give anything away for free.
Car Status Check's Free Data
Car Status Check's is much the same as the AA and RAC's free data and gives you the year of manufacture, colour and fuel type.
My Car Check Free Data Check
My Car Check's again doesn't give much away although we have found out that it is a convertible.
So, What's The Verdict On Free Car Data?
There isn't much you can get for free these days, so if you are serious about buying a car, your best bet is to get a paid-for check. You can spend as little as £2.95 and get a simple Text Message Data Check, or spend a bit more and get the best level of car data - depending on what you are buying it can be worth investing a little in making sure you aren't buying an insurance right-off, a stolen car, a crash-repaired vehicle or a car that simply isn't worth the money.
Have a look at our car data check sample report page to see what you get for your money.