How to trace the owner of a vehicle
Everyone is required by law to exchange their details at the scene of an accident, regardless of whether it was their fault or not. Fortunately most of us are honest people and leaving the scene of accident without doing so is totally unthinkable.
Sadly there are some people who do this, and often it's because they know the accident was their fault and want to avoid the resulting insurance claim. The other possibility is of course that they either don't have insurance or they don't legally own the vehicle, i.e. it's stolen. Either way they are already breaking the law and just don't want to get caught.
You must always remember to get the number plate of all the vehicles involved at the accident scene. Just because someone has given their contact details to you does not necessarily mean that they are correct - or true! It is always wise to assume the worst, just in case something is not quite how it should be.
Finding the vehicle owner from a number plate
If something about the accident does not seem quite right, you should inform the police who are investigating the accident. They will be able in most situations to trace the owner of the vehicle and also establish whether they were insured or not. If after further investigation, the owner of the vehicle turns out not to be the driver, then they may still be able to track down the driver by making further enquiries.
If the driver turns out to be uninsured you will have to speak to your claims advisor or insurer and you may be able to make a claim via the Motor Insurers Bureau. The Motor Insurers Bureau is an independent organisation funded by the insurance industry that helps the victims of uninsured drivers.
Can I trace the number plate details myself?
If you can demonstrate a valid reason for doing so, you can request the information directly from the Driver and Vehicle Licencing (DVLA). In addition to the registration number you will also need to tell them the make and model of the vehicle, there is also a small administration charge for the service. If you visit the DVLA website there will be more information on this.
For information on where to find an Accident Repair Centre or bodyshop, just give us a call on 0845 6768898 or start your free claim enquiry using our online claim form.