The DVSA has launched a new online service allowing buyers of used cars to check if a vehicle is subject to a safety recall.
The new service, which uses real-time data supplied by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), allows anyone wanting to buy a used car, and existing car owners, to use the vehicle registration number to check if it may have a serious safety problem.
More than eight million used cars were sold in the UK during 2016, with figures from the SMMT suggesting that as many as one in 13 vehicles has an outstanding safety recall.
By law, motor dealers – including online sellers – must fix safety recalls free of charge before selling a vehicle to a consumer. Private sellers aren’t bound by the same rules.
In launching the new service, the DVSA is warning car dealers of their responsibility to get safety recalls fixed – or risk prosecution.
The new service compliments the DVSA’s existing facility which enables buyers to check a vehicle’s MOT history, in order to see how well it has been looked after.
Gareth Llewellyn, DVSA chief executive, said: “Whether you’re buying a car from a dealership, through an auction or from a private seller you want to be confident that the vehicle you’re buying is safe to drive.
“Once you own a car you’ll also want to keep up-to-date with new safety recalls.”
Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT, said: “Car makers in the UK have a world-leading record for successful safety recalls and are constantly striving to make it even better.
“This new service makes it easy for drivers and potential buyers to check for outstanding recall alerts they or previous owners may have missed, giving them peace of mind their car is safe and reliable.”