Tuesday 6 November 2012

How to: Uncover the history of your VW through the DVLA

If you live in the UK it is surprising straightforward to acquire a wealth of information about your car's history from the 'Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency' because 'regulation 27 of the Road Vehicles Regulations 2002, provides for the release of information where a person shows reasonable cause to want it'. Just recently I wrote to them and within a couple of weeks I received an A4 envelope bursting at the seams with copies of old logbooks that went all the way back to when my bug was first registered! The best part is that it only cost a mere £5!  

The picture above shows just a small portion of the paperwork I was sent. I am now intending to write to the addresses of all previous owners in the hope that they still live there to find out if they are willing to share any personally history about my bug. Fingers crossed!

I have outlined my basic process below and anyone is welcome to use or adapt my wording in filling out their own applications. So, here is how I did it:
  • Firstly, you need to get yourself a V888 form from the DVLA. The form is fairly simple and self explanatory to fill out and can be downloaded here
  • Question 4: What information do you want and why? My answer:
    I would like to request the names and addresses of all the previous owners of my car and the dates/duration of ownership. I would also be keen to know the name and address of the dealership that initially sold the car to the first owner. Additionally, I would be interested in copies of old log books, Tax, V5c Changes etc, if they are available. The vehicle is currently undergoing an extensive restoration and for personal interest I am eager to research the history of my classic car.
  • Question 5: How are you going to use the information? My answer:
    I intend to write a polite letter to the previous owners and invite them to share information about the car’s history. I would love to see old photos, documents and stories, if the previous owners are willing to contribute. Basically, any piece of information that sheds a little more light on my car's background would be of great personal value and would help to build up a history file.
  • Now just seal up the paperwork and supporting documents along with a postal order/cheque and send it to: Vehicle Record Enquiries, DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1AJ

I encourage all you VW and classic car owners to get on the case with this and enrich the history of your wagon! If you do not live in the UK then I hope you can find a similar process in your country. Let me know how you get on and feel free to message me in the comments section if you have any questions or need help.

On another note: I must apologise for the lack of recent updates. I am currently looking to re-house this project in a garage with power. It's a long shot but If anyone knows of anything available in the Bristol (UK) area please let me know. The search continues…..


  1. Definitely going to try this out thanks :D

    1. Best of luck with it Joe! The wealth of information that you can get is staggering. Let me know if the process has altered at all or if you happen to learn anything new. Thanks!