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Jim's Guide - Checking the legality of a UK registered car

Published: 16 September 2020

Jim's Guide - Checking the legality of a UK registered car

I, and several others I know, have become heartily sick of illegal residents who continue to drive UK registered cars long after they should have been transferred to Spanish plates. As well as breaking the law by not re-registering them, even if they have insurance, this will probably have been issued on the basis that the insurance only covers a number of days outside the UK, so the insurance will be invalid. Pity help the poor person involved in an accident with them.

Spanish police can easily check the legality of a UK registered vehicle via a link they have with DGT, which in turn links to the DVLA database, and they can also check directly with the UK.

In fact, anyone can make the same checks.

To check if a vehicle is taxed and MOT'd just go to:

https://vehicleenquiry.service.gov.uk/

Enter the registration number and follow it through, and you'll find out whether or not the vehicle is legal.

You can also check if a vehicle is insured via:

https://ownvehicle.askmid.com/

You can also make a report of illegal vehicles to the UK:

https://forms.dft.gov.uk/report-an-untaxed-vehicle/

If you take a photo of the vehicle, and show this and the result of your checks to the police, then hopefully they will follow this through and take some action against the offender.

If you install the AlertCops app on your mobile, you can also do a report to the Guardia Civil using the app.

There are also other apps you can install, and the two I've come across that have good ratings are:

Vehicle Smart:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.jvelimited.vehiclesmart

Total Car Check:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=totalcarcheck.co.uk