Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Triumph car dealers 5 - Tracing a cars history

I have been asked about how to get more information about the history of a car. There are several sources of information that help you find out where you car was first registered and where is was first sold.  This article will help with cars sold and taxed in the UK.

V888: request by an individual for information about a vehicle

V888: request by an individual for information about a vehicle is available from  You will need to have the V5 (logbook) to hand to fill in the form.  The vehicle tax and registration information used to held by local government and the quality of what you get back can vary a lot.  Some copies of old paper files can be very hard to read.  Generally you will get some useful information about your car including names and addresses for previous owners and details of the registration number issued.

DVLA Vehicle enquiry service

The UK government website provides public access to information about vehicles. The Driving and Vehicle Licensing Authority hold records of a vehicles testing (MOT's) and road tax.  From you can find out vehicle details online.

BMIHT Heritage Certificates & Archive Services

The Archive of the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust preserves the surviving records of some of the most famous names in British motoring history.

They offer a Heritage Certificate which is a certified copy of the entry against the chassis number in the authentic factory ledgers. This may include the original numbers and colour scheme, dates of build and despatch, and where available, the details of factory fitted equipment.  This may also include the name of the garage to which the car was first dispatched.  This will not necessarily be where it was first sold as cars were often moved from distributors to dealers or between dealers before actually being sold.  

Club archives and forums

Many of the Triumph club have collected information about their cars over the years.  The information varies from club to club.  You may have to join the club to access the full details.  Forums and messageboards operated by the clubs are very good source information generally.   With the passage of time more and more cars are likely to have been owned by or known to somebody in the club.

An occasional series about Triumph car dealers

If you have any information about garages that sold new Triumph cars such as photos of window stickers or sill plates etc please let me know.

Link to the other articles in this series.

Link to my Triumph Car Dealers Flickr gallery of images I have found on Flickr.

This is the fifth in an occasional series about Triumph car dealers.  You can download a copy of the Triumph Sales and Service Directory 1968-69 which started me off on the search for info about Triumph car dealers.
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