Searching for UK Land Rovers that are still in the UK is fairly straightforward; using it's Vehicle Registration Mark (VRM) or number plate, a lot of information can be found. It gets a bit more complex for Defenders that don't have this mark any more or those that weren't originally registered in the UK as new. Below are some examples where searching by VIN may be a solution to finding more information about a Defender's history. This site provides access to various datasets that may exist for a vehicle by searching by VIN for supporters of LR Workshop.
Defenders used in the British Army, Royal Navy and RAF were not registered with the DVLA, instead being issued with a military Equipment Registration Mark (ERM) that identified the vehicle. This was stamped into a metal plate on the left hand side of the seat box. If this plate is missing, it is possible to find the vehicle's past ERM, and therefore it's unit history, by searching our site by VIN. This is unique to the vehicle, pre and post-dates its military service and is stamped in multiple places. There are many Defenders that were part of the "White fleet" that did not have this plate, or may have since been refurbished and its history is not known, unless searched for by VIN.
Once a Defender leaves the UK, it may lose any reference to its original VRM, particularly if it has been refurbished in the UK before being shipped overseas. The VIN is retained and it is therefore possible to match up the vehicle's MOT history by using its VIN.
If you once owned a particular Defender, and would like to know if the vehicle is still on the road, was scrapped or exported, it can be very hard to find out if the vehicle has moved onto a private number plate. By using the knowledge of the VIN it is possible to track down the status of the vehicle, although its latest VRM cannot be revealed as part of the search.
Searching for a Defender's history by VIN is a feature available to supporters of LR Workshop.
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