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How you can find your previous car registrations

If you bought a car on finance, you could be eligible for a claim but to register, you will need your car registration and there are a few simple ways to find it.

07 February 2024

With the news of thousands of people potentially being mis-sold car finance, many people are putting in a claim to see whether they are eligible. Though the initial task is simple, one thing that is needed when putting in a mis-sold car finance claim, is your car registration.

As many people have had more than one car bought under finance, it can be difficult to remember the previous registrations. To help with this, below are ways in which can help you when locating previous car registrations.

1. Search your emails

One of the simplest ways for finding old car registrations is by searching your email archives. Specifically, search for emails from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). When you taxed your car, the DVLA would have sent you an email confirmation, which will include essential details like your car registration number. By searching for terms like "DVLA" or "vehicle tax confirmation," you can quickly locate these emails and find what you need.

2. Check finance provider contracts

If you financed your vehicle through a financial institution, such as a bank or a car dealership, chances are you signed contracts outlining the terms of your agreement. These contracts typically include detailed information about the financed vehicle. Take some time to sift through your email or physical records to locate these contracts. If you can’t locate them, reach out to the finance company via email or phone. Explain your need for copies of the agreements. You may need to be authorised, but they’ll be able to provide you the information.

3. Check parking apps

Most people have used a parking app when paying to park their car and these require you to list your car and its registration details. Unless it’s been actively removed, the app will keep your previously listed cars.

4. Cherished number plates

If you have a private number plate, there are steps to take to ensure you can include your vehicle.

  • When entering the registration number of your vehicle into the claims form, the Vehicle Found results will be displayed.
  • It will show the vehicle currently with that registration.
  • Select this is not the correct vehicle and enter the dates that the registration was on the vehicle you are claiming for.
  • You will be displayed with the vehicle for the dates you've entered. Complete the rest of the form and at the end you will be given an option to add another claim.

5. Data Subject Access Request (DSAR)

If obtaining copies directly from the finance companies proves challenging, we can help you draft a formal Data Subject Access Request (DSAR) to submit to each company. A DSAR allows you to request access to personal data held by an organization. However, please note:

1. Retention Periods: Finance companies are typically required to retain records for a specific period. If the agreements are beyond this retention period, retrieving them may be difficult.

2. Legal Constraints: Some agreements may no longer be accessible due to legal constraints or data protection regulations.

3. Drafting the DSAR: If you choose this option, we will provide you with a template DSAR letter. You can customise it with your details and send it to the relevant finance companies.

At Slater and Gordon, we are car claims experts and are on hand to help with any queries you may have. For more information, contact us at

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