What data on my car is available from DVLA?

Worrying developments with classic car theft. See our NEWS item 201210

Release of information from DVLA’s registers. See DVLA information note

Giving people information from our vehicle record (MIS546) - see the DVLA information note. More

How many data enquiries has DVLA seen in recent years? See our analysis and chart from available DVLA data.
Available DVLA data
Our analysis & chart

Posted: 201212

Release of information from DVLA’s vehicle register
DVLA is allowed to release information from its vehicle register to the police and local authorities. Regulation 27 of the Road Vehicles (Registration and Licensing) Regulation 2002 also allows DVLA to release data to private or public sector organisations and individuals providing they can demonstrate reasonable cause to have it. The release of information about vehicles and their keepers for such purposes is long established and was in place before DVLA existed. As the law allows the release of personal data DVLA say they do not need the vehicle keeper’s consent to disclose their details.

Reasonable cause for data release
Reasonable cause for the release of data from the DVLA vehicle register relates to motoring incidents with driver or keeper liability. These can include road safety matters, events occurring as a result of vehicle use, enforcing road traffic legislation and collecting tax. In all data release matters DVLA is required to act responsibly and in accordance with the law.

The practical applications
When DVLA receives requests for information from individuals and private organisations as diverse as car parking and trespass management companies, solicitors, finance houses and property managers, they check all applications to make sure they meet "reasonable cause".
How many data enquiries to DVLA?
Analysis & chart
Worrying developments with classic car theft
Following the release of our NEWS item on 10th December 2020 on an article seen in the Daily Telegraph that day, where Dr Ken German highlighted some worrying developments with car theft and how thieves are targetting classic cars, fellow V8 member Peter Nixon mentioned he was concerned that some car thieves may be able to obtain information from DVLA on where a classic car is located.

Chris Hunt Cooke comments "DVLA were always supposed only to release information to those who could show reasonable cause to require it, but I think they tightened up after rows about 'cowboy clampers'. The DVLA information note sets out on the data release procedure. Other areas have also tightened up, an MOT history check of a vehicle no longer shows the MOT garage concerned or its location and the new form V5C no longer shows the details of previous keepers. If you were looking for a classic car to steal, car club websites and magazines might be a good source of information, with photos of cars and the names of their owners, and once the owner is identified a website such as 192.com would help to track down their address".

Chris adds "I think that if someone is determined to steal your car, it is very difficult to stop them and the best you can do is to make it more difficult so that they give up and move on to an easier proposition. I was interested to see that an external steering wheel lock was suggested in the Daily Telegraph article. I have long thought that has advantages, by the time someone discovers that the car will not start because of an immobiliser or hidden switch, a lot of damage may have been done in the process of breaking in, whereas the sight of a steering wheel lock seen through the side window would hopefully dissuade the thief from breaking the window. I think immobilisers are the work of the devil, causing far more problems for the car's owner than for a thief.

Some people get a bit paranoid about car theft and I think that installing telescopic security pollards is tending in that direction. All a thief needs is a low-loader with a winch and a length of chain. Even if your fix up one of those CCTV security cameras to record your property when you are not at home, operation one for the thieves is to pull the garage doors open with the chain, then pull the bollard out of the ground, then winch the car up onto the low-loader and away they go! People can work very quickly when the adrenaline kicks in. A friend who does store security had a CCTV camera installed monitoring his drive because the distinctive door mirrors kept getting stolen from his BMW M3 he parked there. Sure enough, he collected a video next time it happened, but the thief had a scarf pulled up and a cap pulled down, so there was no chance at all of recognising him. The amazing thing was the speed at which he worked - it took him literally seconds to detach the two mirrors and be off on his merry way".

Victor Smith adds "a concealed tracker together with a 24/7 support and recovery service does enable the location of the car to be known and the recovery service team can work closely with the police to get a successful recovery of the vehicle. Unlike most reports of car thefts, having the knowledge of where a stolen car is raises the chances of the getting the active involvement of the police working to recover the car. Simple reports that a car has been stolen can easily become an admin matter of recording the fact, distributing information with the limited hope the car might be spotted so recovery might be possible".

What theft protection measures would you take?
The type of theft protection a classic car owner feels is worthwhile and affordable for their car will vary depending on their awareness of the theft risks and the extent to which they feel those risks are a concern to the extent anti-theft protection is necessary. It's worth visiting the Classic Tracker website to see what they offer. Classic Tracker