How to find out who owns a car that crashed into me or my property


Has your car or property been damaged by a vehicle that drove off without swapping details? Perhaps someone has parked or dumped a car on your land? Here motoring journalist and expert Pete Barden  explains how you can find out who owns the car and hopefully get the issue resolved.

Car damaged in hit and run accidentFinding a contact address for the owner of a car that damaged your car is possible if you have the registration number  (Credit: Pixabay)

Can I ask the DVLA who owns a car or other type of vehicle?

Yes - but you have to have a valid reason for doing so. To give out information about the registered keeper of a vehicle, the DVLA will need to accept that you have what is known as 'reasonable cause'. These are discussed below.

When can I ask the DVLA about who owns a car or other vehicle?

To ask for details of a vehicle's owner, you will need to have 'reasonable cause'. Here are some examples of this as provided by the DVLA...

  • finding out who was responsible for an accident
  • tracing the registered keeper of an abandoned vehicle
  • tracing the registered keeper of a vehicle parked on private land
  • giving out parking tickets
  • giving out trespass charge notices
  • tracing people responsible for driving off without paying for goods and services
  • tracing people suspected of insurance fraud

Does this mean rogue parking firms can find my address to give me illegal tickets?

No. Private parking companies that want to get your details from the DVLA database to issue tickets or trespass notices must be members of the British Parking Association  or the International Parking Community., which will offer a level of protection against bad actors.

How can I make a request to get details of a car's registered keeper?

Unlike most functions today, there is no online mechanic for finding out this information, so you will need to download a form (or collect from a post office counter) and make your application by post.

Individuals will need to download a V888, while companies that issue parking or trespass notices must use form V888/3.

Companies that do not issue parking or trespass notices, can ask for information concerning a vehicle on a specific date. This information can include:

  • Name and address information for the keeper of a vehicle - form V888/2A
  • Any other information about a car or other vehicle (insurance company details etc) - use form V888/2B

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Do I have to pay to find out who owns a vehicle?

Yes. Individuals will need to pay £5 to find out who owns a vehicle.

Companies that issue parking or trespass notices will have to pay £2.50 per vehicle request.

Companies that don't issue parking or trespass notices will have to pay £5.

What information will I need about the other car?

As long as you have the car's registration number, you will be able to find out details of ownership. If the plates are missing from a dumped car, try looking at the windows to see if they have been etched with the number plate details. 

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Author: Pete Barden:

Twitter: @pete_barden

Pete Barden is a qualified journalist who has written and produced for publications including The Sun (, New Statesman Media Group, Whatcar? ( Stuff Magazine (, Fastcar Magazine (, Maxim Magazine and UK broadcast stations within the Heart network (Formerly GCAP). Pete specialises in motoring and travel content, along with news and production roles. You can find out more about Pete Barden on LinkedIn.

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