If you’ve ever wondered whether your old pride-and-joy was still on the road, you can now check instantly for free through the DVLA website.
Whether it’s the motorcycle you should never have sold, your Dad’s bike that he used to take you out on, or even your grandmother’s classic (which is no doubt now worth an absolute fortune), the online tool – which checks if any bike or car is taxed and has a valid MoT – will give you the date the test certificate expires, and when the road tax is next due.
Clicking on www.gov.uk/check-vehicle-tax will give you the option to simply enter the registration of a vehicle – from here you’ll be told what the DVLA has it registered as; once you’ve confirmed it’s the correct one, you’ll be taken to a page with details of the vehicle make, date of first registration, year of manufacture, engine size, CO2 emissions, fuel type, whether it was exported, colour, type approval, chassis layout and revenue weight.
We’d love to hear about the bikes you wish you’d never sold – tell us in the comments below. And if you’re the new keeper of Steve’s old VFR – registration K430 JNG – he wishes he’d never sold it!
Of course, you won’t be able to find out who owns it – you can complete form V888 to request information on who owns a vehicle only if you have ‘reasonable cause’, which means discovering who was responsible for an accident, tracing the owner of an abandoned vehicle or one that’s been parked on private land, giving out parking tickets and trespass notices, tracing those who have left without paying for goods or services, and people suspected of insurance fraud.
But, knowing that your old bike is still owned by someone might make it worth contacting some of the owner’s groups – for instance if you miss that 1993 Honda VFR750 that you used to bomb around on (like BikeSocial’s publisher Steve Rose), knowing that it’s MoT’d – even if it has been declared SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) – might make it worth contacting the VJMC (Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club), to see if they can help shed any more light on it. Many of the UK’s individual motorcycle clubs are rich in useful information.
You can also check if a bike or car is on the Motor Insurance Database by visiting ownvehicle.askmid.com, though keep in mind that under section 55 of the Data Protection Act 1998, this should only be used to check a vehicle you own, or that your employer allows you to drive – useful for company car drivers to ensure the vehicle they’re using is legal.