Home > After an Accident > How to Trace the Owner of a Vehicle

How to Trace the Owner of a Vehicle

By: Tracy Whitelaw - Updated: 26 Jun 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Trace The Driver Accident Collision

For most decent people who are responsible drivers, it's incomprehensible to think of being involved in an accident and not leaving details behind with the correct individuals. Sadly, in many accident cases, the party at fault may either flee the scene, or simply provide false information such as their name and address. In this case, it can be extremely difficult to trace the driver and there are certain procedures you can follow to do so.

Requirements at the Scene of an Accident

If you're involved in an accident you MUST stop regardless of whether the accident is your fault or not. This applies whether the collision is with another person, another vehicle, an animal that has been injured or a stationary object. You should remain at the scene long enough to provide your details to the other interested party. If there is no other individual involved, you need to report the accident to the police. This is especially true if it's a stationary car which is empty, a street lamp or some types of animal. You must give your name, address, registration number and insurance details is possible.

Tracing the Owner of a Vehicle Who Won't Give Information

Unfortunately, although most people are aware of their responsibilities at the scene of an accident, many will panic and choose not to do the legal and correct thing. If you find yourself involved in an accident with someone who refuses to provide you with their details, all hope is not lost. There are other ways to trace the owner of a vehicle if they won't give you their name and address.

  • Always get the registration number of the car involved. This is extremely important as it will be used to trace the driver and find out other details.
  • Always report the incident to the police as soon as possible. The police will be able to trace the owner of the vehicle, even if they aren't the ones involved in the crime, they may know who the driver was.

If the police need to get involved in tracing the owner of the vehicle that has been involved in the collision, they will be able to locate their insurance company also, although they may not always divulge this information to you.

Using the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency to Trace an Individual

If you live in either Scotland, England or Wales, you are able to contact the DVLA to trace another driver. They can provide you with the name and address of the person who is the registered owner of a certain vehicle. Generally to be able to do this you need to have a valid reason for wanting it. The process of obtaining it involves writing to the DVLA outlining your reasons for needing the information. You can also use the V888 form which is available on the DVLA website. There's a nominal fee of 2.50GBP to get this information, but in doing so, it's essential that you can provide the registration number of the car, as well as the make, model and date of accident.

Ultimately, if you're involved in an accident with someone who is unwilling to provide you with their contact details, it's likely that they either think they're responsible for the accident or simply aren't lawfully in possession of the vehicle. Most people who realise the collision was purely an unfortunate accident will be willing to cooperate with you to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.

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[Add a Comment]
some one hit my car on frint bumper left front side i only have his mobile number and name not even surname do you think i or the police can chase his details i dont have their reg or any other details
ayjey - 26-Jun-17 @ 12:18 AM
PK - Your Question:
My rear car bumper was damaged whilst parked in a hotel car park. The 3rd party left his phone number on my screen and left his reg in the hotel reception.after discussing the incident with him he offered to buy a second hand bumper, pay for shipping and labour for fitting. he said he doesn't want to go through insurance or pay for new parts.Can he do this or can I insist on going through insurance? I do have his reg number from reception now. Can my insurance company track him and make a claim from him?Can he refuse as it wasn't on a public road but private car Park?Thanks

Our Response:
It's up to you to choose how you want to pursue it. The fact that is was on a private car park should not make any difference.
TrafficAccidentAdvice - 30-May-17 @ 12:43 PM
so I pulled off from a stop street and apparently heard a thud which I didn't take note. I wás stopped few seconds later n.told I had knocked someone off their bike in which I then switched my car off and jumped in the ppls cars that stopped me bk to the scene upon arrival I was in shock that I dd that. the guy had a broken leg .so we proceeded in going to report the accident cops ddnt éven help us at all. so I was taken bk to my vehicle of which these gentleman took pictures of my license disc n number plateand they left . my concern is if they haven't reported it now do I §till try and attempt to report it myself even if it happened two days ago.
qness - 30-May-17 @ 12:49 AM
I return to my car this afternoon after visting B&Q and noticed a lady next to a Mercedes near to were I was parked, she said that she had just witnessed a car hit the Mercedes but hadn't got the registration number. On returning to my car I realised that I had forgotten to turn off my Gopro Hero 4 which i use as a crash cam had a look at the footage and realised that I had the whole incident on my camera, I went in to B&Q we put a callout for the driver of the Mercedes and then looked for the offending car on their CCTV & ANPR Camera's, unfortunately their cameras didnt see the collision but ANPR did log them in and out the the carpark and my Gopro footage provedwho had caused the damage. Hopefully a prosecution will be the result. Its just so wrong to just get off without taking responsability, hopefully these people will get what they deserve.
Montysms - 28-May-17 @ 11:34 PM
My rear car bumper was damaged whilst parked in a hotel car park. The 3rd party left his phone number on my screen and left his reg in the hotel reception.after discussing the incident with him he offered to buy a second hand bumper, pay for shipping and labour for fitting. he said he doesn't want to go through insurance or pay for new parts. Can he do this or can I insist on going through insurance? I do have his reg number from reception now. Can my insurance company track him and make a claim from him? Can he refuse as it wasn't on a public road but private car Park? Thanks
PK - 27-May-17 @ 4:42 PM
My car was hit by a lorry while parked and the lorry drove off. I got the number plate details but it was a foreign plate and my insurance company says they can't trace it without knowing the nationality. Is there a way i can identify the nationality from the plate details? It's a common pattern, used in France, Italy, etc
Dan - 14-Apr-17 @ 6:52 AM
I was hit by a reversing car last week the driver was quite upset but has not given me any details apart from her registration number but it is not registered to her can I still trace her?
Didi - 16-Mar-17 @ 4:58 PM
I get involved of a car accident almost 7months ago. I called my Insurance company and report the incident. Unfortunately they never call me back after it happen. So I called and ask about the incident. They told me the driver who hit me was not the car owner. And they still trying to contact the car owner. If they hear anything, will get me a call back. 7months after, they email me. Ask me if I still want to claim and get repair of my vehicle. I will also lost my No claim bonus. Unbelievable that I been hit by other vechicle. Insurance ask me to claim myself. Never giving me advice and help at all.
Panda - 4-Mar-17 @ 1:27 AM
cece - Your Question:
I was hit today on the L side backend (passenger side) coming out of a carpark from a parked car that blasted into my slow moving car. the driver of the car got out the car and helped check over my car this being my first ever accident I was shaking and very shocked. I seen his car had a tow bar and that explained why I couldnt find much damage on the bodywork but kinda just skimmed my eyes over the wheels being black and very dirty I didnt really think of them getting broken plus I was getting beebed at for being the road of all these cars wanting out of carpark ect, and a man that was very much wanting away and wasnt really wanting to stand and communicate with me. I asked him if we could exchange details as I wanted my partner to check over the car as I was on my own and was holding up the traffic. he refused and said it wasnt needed, so I took a photo of his reg and contacted the police (101). I inspected the car and found the alloy was all marked andthe tyre was all ripped on the wall which now makes my tyre unsafe and I have small children so I would never put my children in danger. I only have his reg? wil the police help me with my search for himas this is going to be a costly sum of money for my tyre (large 4x4 tiguan 19" alloy) and the alloy to re refurbished

Our Response:
If you have his registration number, your insurance company will be able to contact him or his insurers.
TrafficAccidentAdvice - 28-Feb-17 @ 12:12 PM
I was hit today on the L side backend (passenger side) coming out of a carpark from a parked car that blasted into my slow moving car. the driver of the car got out the car and helped check over my car this being my first ever accident i was shaking and very shocked. I seen his car had a tow bar and that explained why i couldnt find much damage on the bodywork but kinda just skimmed my eyes over the wheels being black and very dirty i didnt really think of them getting broken plus i was getting beebed at for being the road of all these cars wanting out of carpark ect, and a man that was very much wanting away and wasnt really wanting to stand and communicate with me. i asked him if we could exchange details as i wanted my partner to check over the car as i was on my own and was holding up the traffic. he refused and said it wasnt needed, so i took a photo of his reg and contacted the police (101). I inspected the car and found the alloy was all marked andthe tyre was all ripped on the wall which now makes my tyre unsafe and i have small children so i would never put my children in danger. i only have his reg? wil the police help me with my search for himas this is going to be a costly sum of money for my tyre (large 4x4 tiguan 19" alloy) and the alloy to re refurbished
cece - 26-Feb-17 @ 7:01 PM
I was clipped by a young woman driving a audi reg yn14xnj and Ineed to trace her
erny - 24-Feb-17 @ 10:43 PM
A van has been dumped on a public road opposite a driveway. Itsobviously been involved in some sort of an accident as front is severely damaged. Its been there for about 6 weeks. Have rung Police and Council but not interested. What can I do.
Spotty - 23-Feb-17 @ 5:57 PM
A car has been left in our private residential car park and is having a knock on effect for 4 residents parking spaces. A SORN has been done on the car and there is no insurance on it either.We know the car does not belong to any of the residents, the police were contacted but won't get involved as it is a private car park and neither will the local council, is there anything we can do to have the owner contacted?
theguinnessgirl - 20-Feb-17 @ 8:36 AM
I was involved in a accident in which both cars was writtenoff. I had just pulled onto the main road on the left side Lane for me to head north and the on coming car which was obviously speeding has come down the street at alot more than 20mph and has smashed me head on drivers side. she was clearly driving at a speed as she rit my car off and hers too with all airbags deploying but is trying to claim it was me pulling out of the space. Now 1 if i was she would have got more of me and the driver side door but didn't she got the front of the drivers side, and 2. she smashed me on a speed bump so clearly hadn't even hesitated to slow down for the bump. I was injured and taken off immediately in and ambulance and so was she however I never got her name just her registration number and insurance company name. how can I obtain her name and details to pass on as a matter of urgency? ease help it's destroying me and I've only just one home from hospital. Would appreciate any guidance, advice and support urgently.
LadyZ - 16-Feb-17 @ 5:56 PM
My wife was hit from behind about a week ago the young girl gave her name and phone number to her but my wife was more concerned about her elderly aunt than getting details she never thought on getting her reg. we have text messages from her which confirm it was her who hit my wife but now she won't answer her phone. our insurance company has been ringing her still won't answer the phone. Reported it to the police the police have tried ringing her and sent her a text to get in touch with them still nothing. Then the police said if she doesn't get back to them there is nothing much they can do. Surely the police can find the owner of a mobile phone or maybe they can't be bothered. Any ideas anyone????
Bigdee - 13-Feb-17 @ 11:22 PM
A Van has deliberately hit me today after we exchanged some heated words on who had right of lane on a roundabout. I Told him to go (even though I had the lane) and this is when he deliberately turned his van into the side of my car damaging the the N/S Indicator and N/S Front Bumper. He then drove off.. I managed to get his Reg Number and a good luck at him (I even have his name). I reported the matter to the Police who then said that he has reported the incident saying exactly the opposite (I have a Sports Car that I take to Car Shows and he was driving an old Company van with no livery so who do you think would deliberately crash their vehicle)? The Police are saying it's my word against his and there was no cameras and as yet no witnesses have come forward. I wanted to report this guy to his Employer but cannot get the details from the Reg Plate to find out who they are. If I go through my Insurers, my premiums will go through the roof as there will be long process of proving who did what and it could end up as a both fault claim. This idiot shouldn't be allowed on the roads :(
Angry - 13-Feb-17 @ 3:34 PM
Just been hit by a car, he drove away 2 witness seen it and gave us a reg number and we have reported to police what to do now
JIM M - 12-Feb-17 @ 6:41 PM
Yogurt61 - Your Question:
I've recently noticed that on two occasions late at night a car has been following me. Would the DVLA give me the name of the registered keeper? I would like to contact the police but want to double check that this person is not someone who I already know. Thanks

Our Response:
No, the DVLA will not divulge these details to you. If you are concerned that someone is following you tell the police regardless of whether they know you or not. They'll be able to offer you advice about what to do. However, as it's only occurred twice, it could simply be a coincidence.
TrafficAccidentAdvice - 6-Feb-17 @ 2:05 PM
My wife received a letter to name the driver of her car (details correct) for fail to stop/report. The location on the form about 1-2 miles from our house. The time and date on the form would mean that I would have left for work about that time and my route doesn't go that way. So someone has given the car details as failed to stop but it wasn't us. How can I prove this. If I ever had an accident I would stop. If my wife names me as the driver I get treated as though this was me. If she doesn't name anyone's then she gets treated as a criminal. The car was new at the end of November and hasn't got any damage.
Helpmepleasse - 5-Feb-17 @ 5:43 AM
I've recently noticed that on two occasions late at night a car has been following me. Would the DVLA give me the name of the registered keeper? I would like to contact the police but want to double check that this person is not someone who I already know. Thanks
Yogurt61 - 4-Feb-17 @ 1:08 AM
Hi, I was knocked off my bicycle by a driver today who didn't stop, I got the first part of the license plate and the colour of the vehicle and a rough idea of type of car, and also a reasonably good description of the driver - is there any way I can trace them from this information? Thanks.
Maddie - 25-Jan-17 @ 11:09 PM
Hi, my car was hit whilst whilst parked in my work's car park and the driver left a note under my wiper for me to call them. I've tried ringing the number but I get a 'the number you have dialed has not been recognised'. I've looked the number up and it is listed in the british phone book for an address 2-3 miles away from the incident. The only details I have for the driver are the unreachable telephone number and the full address the number is/was registered to. Is this enough information for my insurers to track them down? Thanks
Aaron - 22-Jan-17 @ 5:40 PM
Hi my car was hit today as it was Parked. Driver was arrested at scene but isn't insured. Can I still get his details from police.
Nuzz - 20-Jan-17 @ 10:39 PM
Had some one come into me of the side of my car. It's was a hit and run, and didn't have time to catch the license plate. Got the model of the car and colour how do I go about it ?
Sarge - 12-Jan-17 @ 3:07 PM
Lee - Your Question:
Hi, I was hit in a supermarket car park last night. I took the drivers name and number but very stupidly forgot to take their registration number. Is there anything I can do as they aren't picking up the phone? Thanks.

Our Response:
Did you get their address? That should be sufficient for an insurance claim.
TrafficAccidentAdvice - 11-Jan-17 @ 12:17 PM
Hi, I was hit in a supermarket car park last night. I took the drivers name and number but very stupidly forgot to take their registration number. Is there anything I can do as they aren't picking up the phone? Thanks.
Lee - 10-Jan-17 @ 4:22 PM
Would I be able to obtain the address of a person using their car registration if it is for another reason other than a road traffic incident? I did something very stupid and bought an expensive large rug through the pre loved advertisement site and met the person half way between our properties and paid cash. Needless to say when I got home and examined the rug it was not as described in the add (wrong size and moth eaten). I have tried contacting the nice lady who conned me but she is not answering her phone or email. I need her full address to take action in the small claims court. Do you think DVLA will give me her address in these circumstances. Has anyone got information from the DVLA in similar circumstances?
Dilly - 22-Dec-16 @ 9:09 AM
A vehicle hit me from behind at a roundaboutI have the owner details and contact number but didn't get the reg or make of car. She couldn't remember her insurer. Have tried calling her but no reply. What can I do
Nicola - 16-Dec-16 @ 9:09 PM
I'm trying to trace an owner of an illegally parked car. W734 VTT No tax, not SORN and no insurance. It's parked in the only allocated space I have when there is next to no parking local to my pad. People are very inconsiderate.
Crow - 8-Dec-16 @ 4:29 PM
Sara - Your Question:
My son crashed my car and he was at fault. I have fully comprehensive cover. He is allowed to drive other vehicles under 3rd party basis. Seeing that he is at fault. His insurance will not pay out for my vehicle. What can I do now?

Our Response:
Third party insurance is designed to cover a third party involved in an accident with the vehicle that the insured is driving not the vehicle being driven. If your son was not a named driver on your insurance the only thing you can do is to pay for the damage yourself or ask your son to pay it.
TrafficAccidentAdvice - 7-Dec-16 @ 12:50 PM
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