How to Trace the Owner of a Vehicle

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 the 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.

Disclaimer: The information in the article is for general purpose information only and should not be constituted as legal advice. This article has been produced by a third party and Jardine Motors does not take any responsibility for the completeness, accuracy, or reliability with respect to the website or the information provided. Article last updated March 2016.