Buy, sell and trade your stock

Vehicle Check

Your vehicles checked, your customers reassured

Research has shown that knowing whether a vehicle has a clear history or not is a major factor in the purchase process for car buyers. 77% of car buyers said they would be more likely to contact or visit a retailer after seeing a full vehicle check on an Auto Trader advert.1

So, we set out to introduce Vehicle Check, which offers huge benefits for retailers and car buyers. As a retailer, you have access to run unlimited vehicle history checks for vehicles you’re looking to buy or take in part exchange, in partnership with Experian. In addition, all your advertised vehicles on Auto Trader will show the summary results of the vehicle check increasing trust and transparency with car buyers.

See Vehicle Check in action

Unlimited Vehicle Checks

No caps or limits, run as many vehicle checks as you need for your business; whether you’re buying at auction, taking a part-ex or sourcing from your network. Our checks are run in partnership with Experian, to give you confidence from a trusted brand. They’re mobile friendly too, so you can easily check on the go. Our fair usage policy is designed to prevent misuse and not restrict legitimate usage.2

Reassure Your Customers

Car buyers have told us how important it is to be sure the car they’re buying doesn’t have any hidden history. They also value impartiality and said they would trust checks provided by Auto Trader more than checks provided by a dealer directly1. With a summary of our checks displayed on your Auto Trader advert, you can offer the reassurance car buyers need.

What car buyers are saying1

Auto Trader seems to be a company that I would trust. If I saw an online advert that said it had a full vehicle check, I would definitely feel more confident in buying that vehicle. Peter, 43, Newcastle
Having a vehicle check on an advert would make me much more confident about going to see a vehicle … really it would give so much more peace of mind. Farooq, 52, London

How it works

Checking vehicles pre-purchase

  1. Enter the VRM and mileage in Portal and click "Find vehicle”.
  2. Check the vehicle found is correct, then click the “Vehicle Check” or “Retail Check” button, depending on which products you use.
  3. Once you've run the report, we'll show you the at-a-glance results, or you can click to view and download the full report.

Reviewing your forecourt

You can review the vehicle check report status of every vehicle on your forecourt by clicking the new “Advertised stock with vehicle check issues” tile on the homepage, or by navigating to your stock list and looking for the “Vehicle Check Status” column. To view or update the check, click on the vehicle and navigate to the “Condition and history” tab.

Vehicle Check trade report

Our checks, supported by Experian data, show you all common vehicle provenance data points, including:

  • Outstanding finance & lender details
  • Vehicle registration data
  • Stolen, scrapped or written off status
  • Import or export history
  • Recorded mileage history
  • Plate changes & colour changes
  • Number of previous owners
  • MOT History
  • And more…

Vehicles which you check before purchasing are covered by a 12 month data guarantee of up to £10,000, subject to terms and conditions.

View sample online report View sample PDF report

Advertising vehicles

  1. Advertise the vehicle as normal, whether through Portal or a stock feed.
  2. Your vehicle will automatically receive a vehicle check with a summary report shown on the full page advert to reassure car buyers.
  3. If you need to update a previous report, for example if consumer finance has now been cleared, you can do this from each advert in Dealer Portal, via the condition & history tab in the stock item.

Vehicle check displayed on your adverts

To provide trust and transparency to consumers, we’ve taken a fresh approach to how vehicle checks are shown to car buyers, on your Auto Trader adverts. Where a vehicle shows all clear, we’ll highlight this so the consumer can see at-a-glance. Where there is something that the consumer needs to be aware of, we include helpful information which explains more about what it means and encourages them to get in touch with the seller.

Got questions?

If your question isn’t answered below, your Account Manager will be happy to help.

Our fair use policy is designed to ensure legitimate and fair usage. We will only take action where usage is excessive or unfair, for example; checking cars for other retailers or other sites in your group who do not pay for the service.

You can find the policy in more detail here:

To ensure that the most up to date information is shown on your adverts, we will run a new vehicle check whenever you publish a new advert on our website. This means buyers will be getting an accurate view of the vehicle at the point you decide it’s ready to list. The great news is any checks Auto Trader runs on your behalf (e.g. those checks that we perform when you advertise your cars for sale on our website) do not count towards your usage.

You can refresh the Vehicle Check if you believe the status has changed by re-running the report from within the stock item condition & history tab in Portal. If this doesn’t resolve the issue, you can contact Experian on 0344 381 1400 and they will help you to resolve your query (calls are charged at the standard landline rate).

If the report has provided you contact details for the data source (such as outstanding finance records) you can also contact the source directly, using the data provided in the report, to see if you can resolve your query.

If your query is regarding the MOT data, this is managed by Auto Trader, so please contact Auto Trader Product Support. Alternatively, you can use the DVSA service directly at

Yes. When you advertise stock via a stock feed, vehicles which are advertised will be automatically checked and the results shown on your adverts. However, you will need a Portal login to interactively check vehicles, before you buy them and refresh any previous checks.

We’ve taken a fresh approach to how vehicle checks are summarised on adverts and unlike conventional reports, we won’t flag unit stocking finance as an alert to buyers, as we know this shouldn’t impact consumers. Where vehicles show other outstanding finance types we include helpful information for buyers which explains what it means. We inform them that it’s not uncommon for a previous finance agreement to be settled at the point of sale and encourage them to get in touch with the seller to discuss this.

Being the only fixed-price unlimited vehicle check package on the market, we believe Vehicle Check offers great value and many retailers could save, compared to their current provider. Please contact your Account Manager for details.

Vehicle Check enables you to check any car or van. A vehicle check will work for any VRM which is registered with the DVLA, including those registered in Northern Ireland and private/cherished plates. Due to the complexity of the data, it is possible that a vehicle check may not work for a very recent cherished plate transfer.

Any other type of plate, including those from the Republic of Ireland, will not work with the vehicle check product.

We’ve chosen to work with trusted partner Experian to power our vehicle check service, and they take every precaution to ensure that the data supplied to you is correct and complete. However, due to the complexity of the information provided, there will be a small number of occasions when a piece of data is not passed correctly in the vehicle check.

To help ensure that you do not suffer a financial loss due to incorrect or incomplete data, we are able to offer a data guarantee. This is included at no extra cost and guarantees specified data provided up to a maximum of £10,000 for 12 months.

To qualify for the data guarantee, you must carry out the check yourself, before you have purchased the vehicle.

>For full details of the data guarantee provided by Experian, including any limitations and exclusions, please see the Vehicle Check Terms and Conditions .

We would always recommend you download and/or print the PDF version of every full check report you run, to ensure any claims can be processed more easily.

Please note: the data guarantee only provides coverage against losses that relate to data issues and no other losses (for example the data guarantee does not cover any losses arising from a vehicle's physical condition, value or valuation, MOT history, specification, fuel consumption or dimensions, except as otherwise stated in the terms and conditions).

Currently Vehicle Check is only available to customers with an Auto Trader car or van advertising contract and isn’t available for pay as you go, or private sellers.

If you choose not to take Vehicle Check, your adverts will continue to show the 5 basic checks we perform today. However, you will not get access to other features, such as the full retailer report, the ability to run unlimited full vehicle checks to check stock you’re looking to buy or take as part exchange, and the data guarantee. You will also be offering the consumer less information and transparency on your full page advert.

The data we receive from Experian updates every 24 hours, meaning within the same day there won’t be any changes to vehicle check information. Experian receive daily updates from their suppliers (including the DVLA, Motor Insurance Bureau, and finance houses / lenders). It can take some finance houses several days to update their records and pass this information back to Experian, so in some cases, even though finance has cleared, there may be a delay before our vehicle check data will show this change. Auto Trader will automatically check any vehicle when it is first advertised with us. We do not perform any other re-checks ourselves, once adverts are live. If another retailer performs a check on a vehicle you have in stock, this will update the check information on that vehicle and show the new information on the full page advert.

If someone else runs a check for a vehicle you have in stock, or when you list the vehicle for sale on Auto Trader, we will update your version of the check to the latest view of that car. This does mean that sometimes data may change between the original check and the latest version. As such, we would always advise that you print and/or download the full report for each pre-purchase check that you run and keep this in a safe location, to provide a permanent record and to support any data guarantee claims you may need processing. These updates only occur through use of the Auto Trader Vehicle Check, not if other 3rd party providers are used. Examples of where a check might update are:

  • If you check a part ex and add it to your forecourt, and subsequently the consumer takes the car to another dealer who checks the same part ex.
  • When you list a vehicle for sale: Auto Trader will run a new check.
  • If you’re listing a vehicle for sale in multiple places (e.g. in an auction) and another dealer checks the car, via Auto Trader Vehicle Check.

We believe promoting trust and transparency to consumers is important and so you will not be able to edit or remove the data that is shown to consumers. If a vehicle status has changed, the report can be refreshed, and Experian will rectify any incorrect data, as quickly as possible.

Yes, in rare occasions a vehicle check may fail, for example if the VRM isn’t valid, there is an issue with Experian’s service or the VRM and VIN supplied don’t match the latest DVLA data. Don’t worry, we'll still publish the advert as normal, but without the full check results. The forecourt view in Portal will show you any failed checks and you can refresh checks for affected vehicles. Once a successful check is performed, this will update to show in the full page advert.

When you log into Portal, there will be a new metric added to your home screen which will show you the count of advertised vehicles on with non-clear checks. From there, you can view a filtered list of your forecourt stock, showing only these vehicles, allowing you to quickly view the vehicle check result and refresh as necessary.

No, this data is not part of a Vehicle Check and isn’t something we currently offer.

This is not currently available as part of the service, but this can be checked for free here -

This is not currently available as part of the service, but this can be checked for free here -


1Auto Trader independent research conducted December 2018 on a representative sample of 1,037 UK car buyers.

2 Usage must be for legitimate business purposes only. You must be checking vehicles you're looking to source for your business. Checks must be carried out for your dealership site only or at group level where all sites subscribe to the service. You should not carry out excessive refreshes on already checked vehicles. Full terms and conditions can be found here:

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