TapCar identification

I don’t know if there is any kind of privacy or security problem here but I have discovered that many tyre retailer web sites have a system of identifying your car (make, model and colour) from its registration number. For example Kwik Fit or Tyre Shopper tell me that mine is a red Renault Laguna X74 5-door hatchback. I am sure that there must be a use for this.

I took a look at the DVLA website which gave a link to Release of information from DVLA records and this doesn’t mention this usage of data supplied but seems to be only datasets where the owner/keeper information is included. Following links further I found the DVLA Vehicle Online Services which gives a Vehicle Enquiry service. This requires the registration number and the manufacturer (I can’t see why) but gives quite a lot more information—date of liability (when the tax disk expires I think), first registration, year of manufacture, engine capacity, CO2 emisions, fuel and a few other bits and pieces.

Update 2:
The Motor Insurance Database ASKMID is another route. It tells you the make and model and also, usefully, if it is insured. You are only supposed to use it if you own the vehicle but that is unenforceable except, perhaps, in the extreme case of bulk enquiries.

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