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Vehicle Data Released under Freedom Of Information

Over the last couple of years data has been released regarding Post 1973 cars (mainly) and their current status. The first one was a request by the BBC to see which cars passed or failed MOTs and what on - although with the caveat that the pass or failure rate is as much dependent on the owner and how he cares for a vehicle as the vehicles reliability. For example a cracked screen or bald tyres are clearly the owners fault. 

The second in 2010 shows the data of the numbers of cars "Licensed" either new or old. The eagle eyed will spot that, as an example the Renault 20 has 2 pass an MOT and 4 fail - The 4 may have been fixed and re presented but this is the data of the first attempt. But the registration detail shows 5 Renault 20 TXs, 2 TS Auto, 4 more TSs, 1 TL, 4 TL Autos, and 12 TX Autos. So 28 in all. There is a separate table for vehicles on SORN -The notes say Licensed does not include SORN so a lot of cars are mis-MOTd or not MOTd at all. I would guess at mis-mot Mot'd the new computer at our MOT station has no 4CV on it so he always enters it as a 4.

The 3rd is Vehicles on SORN by Type. This shows that someone's tables are wrong. If you presume table 1 includes SORN and remove the SORN numbers there are far more licensed than MOTd. if it does not include SORN it is even worse.

With continuous insurance coming in though we should have a 3rd Source. The MID stores data of all those cars with Insurance - In the future all cars will need to be Insured or SORN - although it is unlcear what happens to a pre SORN car not on the road which in truth is invisible.

MOT Data  

Data of cars Licensed - on the Road

Vehicles on SORN

The following 2 are also of interest. These are the licensed cars based on date of first registration and those on SORN by date of First registration. These are play around of the data above but add in the key data of "age". Clearly there may be some issues here too. For example no 1900 car is shown despite clearly one existing because it was imported and registered later. but as a rough guide it may present some interest. The early cars are not listed by name so "missing" is used but if we look at dates, there are 57 vehicles registered between 1948 and 1961 this should include early 4s (although none were in the UK until 1962) but would include Dauphine, Floride, 4CV, Juvaquatre and at least quite probably older cars. More may have been registered later but now cars are given age related plates and should be in their correct category - this was not always the case.

Vehicles SORNed by Date of First Registration

Vehicles Licensed by Date of First Registration

Which cars are in the database?

The database covers all vehicles that have a valid tax disc or a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN). It doesn't cover cars that were off the road prior to the introduction of SORN, or cars that have never been registered on the road since manufacture.

What does 'Missing' mean?

The explanation that follows is from a draft guidance document to be published shortly by the Department for Transport.

It should be noted that the make and model names as given in the tables is exactly the same as recorded by DVLA and (in the vast majority of cases) will be identical to what appears on the V5 document.

As outlined in section 3, there are some conditions under which individual vehicles either have no model name or it is seemingly incorrect:

Modern vehicles which are on general sale in the UK have DVLA model names as defined by manufacturers. This usually does not include Mark (Mk., or version) numbers so in most cases it is usually impossible to distinguish between vehicles of the same model name but of a different Mk. number. Similarly, manufacturers may not choose to use the full model name within the description.

Vehicles from before 1963 are less likely to have a specific model name or any model name at all. Model names would only have existed if the manufacturer created one at the time.

No model codes exist for imported vehicles or models which have not been on general sale in the UK (or are sold in the UK under a different make or model name). In these cases the DVLA operator will either try to find the nearest, sensible, match to the name as written on the V55 form, or will record the vehicle in the 'model missing' box. The former is often done when keepers want something to appear on the V5 document for insurance purposes. The nearest match would usually be a shorter, more generic term for the vehicle.

Small-volume manufacturers who do not take part in SMMT's coding scheme will often register their vehicles without model names. This is also very common for commercial vehicles.

Multi stage build vehicles (especially motor caravans): if these vehicles are converted by body builders in the UK they are likely to have model information relating to the base chassis but if they are imported to the UK as a finished vehicle they are unlikely to be coded.

Any vehicle of a given model name which cannot be located in the data tables will most likely be included in the 'model missing' categories. 

How accurate is the data?

As with all large government databases, there are errors in this dataset (especially since quite a lot of the data for older vehicles is based on paper records that were originally maintained by local authorities).

The most common error that crops up is vehicles that don't have exactly the correct model variant recorded on their V5 registration document. For example, a special edition Peugeot 205 Gentry might only have Peugeot 205 recorded on its V5. This can lead to some model variants appearing to be rarer than they actually are.

The key to understanding whether or not the data is accurate for your particular model is to check the model name on its V5 registration document. If it's not what you expect it to be, then it's likely that the DVLA statistics for that model aren't very accurate!

This happens more often with older vehicles, especially for those that would have originally been registered in the 1970s and earlier.
What does 'date of first registration' mean?

Date of first registration is the date that a vehicle first became known to the DVLA. This is usually the same as the year the car was built.

Imports will be counted under the year they were brought into the UK, and some restored classic vehicles will be counted under the year they were brought back on the road. 

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