The HistoVec website allows the owner or buyer of a used car in France to know the history of a vehicle.
Launched by the French government in January 2019, the free information portal includes a variety of data such as date of registration, CT (MOT) history, mileage, any claims on the vehicle, etc.
The purpose of the site is to make information about a vehicle available to owners and future buyers, and free of charge, and prior to buying or selling the car.
It is thought that up to half of used vehicle sales involve minor or serious fraud, Sécurité routière (France’s road traffic and safety delegation) therefore stated they “wanted to create a reliable and safe space to protect users and stop fraud.”
HistoVec provides information on the life and history of all vehicles (motorised two-wheelers, cars, trucks, etc.) regardless of the age or licence plate.
Relying on the seller
HistoVec responds to a legitimate demand for reliable information on the behalf of buyers, however it is important to note that it is up to the seller to upload information onto the site.
The owner who wishes to sell a used vehicle must register the licence plate number of the vehicle concerned, its nominative data and the information appearing on the registration document.
They can then share the information with a potential buyer via the site.
Arguably, if a seller refuses your request to share information then maybe that is a sign in itself. However it is something buyers need to be aware could happen.
A tool to be used
HistoVec can be and is a very useful tool for drivers, however it relies on people using it and using it correctly to be worthwhile.
If sellers do not upload data about their vehicles, there is nothing for buyers to see.
Equally, if buyers do not use the website to check the available data they are not profiting on what can be a useful means of obtaining information prior to the purchase of a second hand car.