Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a question about policing or the law? You may be able to find the answer here.

Through our frequently asked questions section we aim to help you find the answers you need without having to call us to ask for information. We've provided answers to questions on a range of topics which are regularly asked of police forces up and down the country.

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Q) I want to buy a second hand car, can the police tell me whether it is stolen or not before I buy it?

At present there is no national guidance on this matter and it will probably be a matter of local policy. So it will vary from force to force as to whether forces will provide any information on this matter.

There are organisations that do credit checks on vehicles which will also tell you if there is any outstanding credit on the vehicle. There will be a fee for this service but it is always better to check out any second hand car that you are thinking of buying.

However, whilst we can't recommend any specific companies that provides vehicle history checks prior to purchase, you should be able to find one online – the price may vary from one company to another.

We have listed two examples of companies that offer this service in related information but we don't recommend them above any others.

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Answers in this FAQ section are provided by the 'Ask the Police' website. Produced by the Police National Legal Database (PNLD) team, 'Ask the Police' is an official police site approved by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC). All FAQ answers are © PNLD.

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