MyCarCheck.com, the UK’s No.1 consumer vehicle data provider, has praised Citizens Advice for raising awareness of major issues surrounding Bill of Sale finance agreements, commonly known as logbook loans.

Vehicle owners with a steady income can quickly access up to £50,000 by handing over their car or bike’s V5C registration document to a Consumer Credit Licence holder. The lender now officially owns the vehicle, but the consumer is able to continue using the vehicle so long as they keep up the repayments.


The big problem comes when the vehicle is sold on to an unsuspecting used buyer. If the seller has applied for a replacement V5 from the DVLA (or the buyer is daft enough to take the vehicle without a logbook), the loan company can repossess the vehicle, potentially leaving an innocent purchaser massively out of pocket. In a recent article in The Daily Mail, headlined ‘Buy a car… and inherit a debt‘, Citizens Advice chief executive Gillian Guy described this scenario as legalised theft.

Roger Powell, Divisional Head at CDL Vehicle Information Services, which owns MyCarCheck.com, said: “Citizens Advice is doing a great job raising awareness of this increasing threat to UK used car buyers.

“In many instances the people who take out logbook loans don’t realise it is illegal to sell the vehicle on. They think so long as they keep up the payments everything will be fine. Then, of course, they don’t, and the lender’s representatives are soon knocking on the door of the innocent purchaser. In other instances, out-and-out crooks are exploiting logbook loans to deliberately fleece secondhand buyers. This is fraud, plain and simple.


“The vehicle provenance industry used to be all about confirming if a vehicle had been written-off or stolen. Today a major part of our business is flagging up that a vehicle has finance debt against it. Consumers need to be aware that the registered keeper of a car or bike – the name on the V5C form, the logbook – is not necessarily the legal owner.

“As a quality provenance check provider, a member of both the Finance and Leasing Association (FLA) and the Motor Asset Registration Service (MARS), we take the use of data very seriously. We need to make sure that whether a consumer is buying an £800 runaround or an £80,000 sports car, they can easily access the data they need to check a vehicle is as described.”

MyCarCheck.com’s parent company, CDL Vehicle Information Services, performs around two million look-ups a week for companies including AutoExpress, CompareTheMarket, Confused.com, Go-Compare, Moneysupermarket, Swiftcover, Tesco Compare and WhatCar?.


It uses up-to-the-minute data from the Police (NPIA – previously known as the Police National Computer or PNC) the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and major finance houses including Lloyds TSB and Santander.

To help UK consumers make the right choice, MyCarCheck.com can confirm in seconds whether your potential pride and joy has ever been scrapped, stolen or written-off, has any money owing on it, has had a plate or colour change and much more.

Tony Carter

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