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How can I check the history of a car?

I am interested in buying a used car but would like to know some of its past life, like how many owners, accidents, could it be repossessed or finance owed on it?

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You can get a surprising amount of information on the background of a car for free with the registration details, including its MoT history, mileage and whether it has road tax:

Car history checks will cost money and tell you if the vehicle has any outstanding finance or any markers for being written-off or stolen. You can also fill in a V888 request form and send it to the DVLA to get the registered keeper’s details and those of previous owners.
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