How To Find A Car You Previously Owned

Whether you have an attachment to a certain car you once owned or you are simply curious to find out what happened to an old car, you may be able to trace it. Within this article, we show you a number of methods you can use to find your old car online.

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Finding out where your old car is or whether it still exists is something you may be able to find out with a bit of research. Whether you want to buy it back for sentimental reasons or you simply want to find out what happened to your old car, below are our recommended methods you can use to track it down.

It’s important to note that due to data privacy reasons (i.e. personal details of the current owner), you’ll only be able to find details about your old car to a certain point.

How To Find My Old Car?


1. Google The Registration

The easiest and most successful way we’ve found our old cars in the past is to simply Google the registration number. The most effective way to do this is to search your registration number within two quotation marks.

Whilst you are searching on Google, you’ll also want to search the registration number with and without spaces. For example, the search with spaces would look like “YO07 CAR” whereas without spaces would be “YO07CAR”.

This method is made possible thanks to the clever Google Lens, which is the search engine’s image recognition software. It’s able to pick out the number plate’s digits and characters from the image and associate it with certain pages and images found on Google. This means that after searching your number plate, the search engine results page will show all the images and web pages that feature the combination.

From our experience, most of the webpages and images with the number plate combination come in the form of forums, classifieds, dealership websites and social media posts. Therefore, if you want to buy back the car or see more details about it, you can view the webpage it’s listed on where there may be a way to contact the current owner.

2. Owners’ Clubs

If the car that you owned was unique or something special, an enthusiast may own it and if that’s the case, they may be part of an owners’ club. Therefore, it’s worthwhile signing up for multiple owners’ clubs that come in the form of enthusiast forums or dedicated websites. Once you are registered, you’ll then want to create a post on the forum about the car you want to find. With any luck, the owner may be on the forum or someone may know of the car in question.

3. Facebook Groups & Other Social Media

Facebook and other social media platforms is a great source to find out information about pretty much anything and an old car that you previously owned is a great example. Whether you join a local community group or one that’s dedicated to the car brand or model, posting details about your old car is highly recommended. As with the above method, the owner or somebody that knows the whereabouts of the car may be part of the group.

4. Online Archives

Searching an online archive that stores car details (such as drivearchive.co.uk) is another great place to trace down your old car. Using drivearchive.co.uk as an example, they’ve been collecting data since 2002 and there are over 81,000 cars and 27,000 photos on the site. Although it isn’t a large amount of data, there may be a chance that your car is listed.

5. Request Information From The DVLA (V888 Form)

Asking the DVLA directly for information about your old car may be an option and you can do so via the V888 request form. However, unless you have a valid reason, the DVLA won’t provide you with any information due to the Data Protection Act. Therefore, we only recommend this method if there is an actual/significant reason for getting in touch with the current owner. It’s worth pointing out that asking to buy the car isn’t a valid reason and you won’t get a response.

Does My Old Car Still Exist?

If you are struggling to find your old car online using the above methods, you may be wondering if your old car still exists. Luckily, there is an easy way to find out by using the Government’s Vehicle Enquiry Service, which only requires the car’s registration number.

After you’ve inputted the number plate, it’ll retrieve details about the car’s tax and MOT status as well as other details such as the date of the last V5C and the colour (which may have changed since you last owned the car).

If you find out that the car is untaxed, placed upon a SORN or hasn’t had an MOT in a long time, the likelihood is that the car may have been scrapped or is sitting in a garage or off-road somewhere. However, if the car has tax, a recent logbook change or MOT, there may be some hope that you can find your old car. You may even want to go a step further and check the car’s insurance status because if it’s insured, it’ll certainly still exist.

how to find an old car you once owned uk

Conclusion

Certain cars that you’ve previously owned will always have some sort of attachment to you and finding out where they are or if they still exist can be quite interesting to find out.

Hopefully our guide to finding an old car you once owned has given you a number of options to begin your research. However, if you need further help, feel free to get in touch and we will try to provide our assistance where possible.

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