EOE’s Top Tips for Staying Safe!

Common sense – If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
Please take a moment to read the following tips which will help you stay safe when dealing with strangers.

Face to Face – Where possible, meet face to face to see the item and exchange payment. When meeting a stranger, meet in a public place. Don’t take large amounts of cash with you.


Do your research – Find out as much as you can about the vehicle. How much will you have to pay in insurance? Road tax? Fuel? Are there any common faults with this vehicle that should be checked?

Check the book price – This is the best way of making sure that you are not paying over the odds for your car. It can also act as a basis for further negotiation, especially if you are negotiating a discount for problems with the car or missing service history. What Car offer a car valuation service free of charge.

Check the seller – Once you’ve found a potential car, there are a few simple things you can do to help check that you are dealing with a legitimate seller. Remember, whilst cars purchased from a dealer will be a little more expensive, you do benefit from a certain amount of extra legal protection should there be a problem with your purchase. When calling a private seller, ask about “the car”. If they ask “which car” you may be dealing with a dealer that is trying to pretend otherwise, thus avoiding their legal obligations. Make sure you are able to visit the car at the sellers home (or business premises if they are a dealer). This should match the address shown on the car’s V5 registration document.

Look it over – Inspect the vehicle thoroughly in daylight. If you are not mechanically minded, take along someone that is, it may well be worth getting an independent inspection. The RAC offer an inspection service.

Take it for a drive – Make sure you are insured on the vehicle and have proof to show the seller. Drive the car for 10-15 miles on a mixture of fast and slow roads, and do some slow manoeuvring both forward and in reverse. If possible, have the seller drive some of the way while you listen carefully for any noises or vibrations, then take over at the wheel to make sure everything feels right.

Check the mileage – Does the mileage look consistent with the wear and tear on the car? The wear on the pedals, steering wheel and gear knob is often a good sign of this. Check the current mileage against previous MOTs if it is an older car (the further these go back the better), and the service history for newer cars. The V5 may also show the mileage at the last sale.

Check the paper work – Check the big three – V5, tax and MOT (if over three years old). Check they are all present, that the registration number and chassis number match the vehicle (the chassis number will be either in the engine bay or under the carpet by the front door – check these have not been tampered with), and that the name and address match both each other and the person selling the vehicle.

Check the service history – A full record of all servicing, carried out on time and by an appropriate dealer is important for all cars, and especially important for specialist vehicles such as 4x4s and high performance cars. If the car is still under manufacturer’s warranty, the warranty will only be valid if the services are carried out at franchised dealers within the recommended time frames.

Get an HPI check – This will reveal if the car has outstanding finance, if it has been stolen, written off or if it has been clocked. The checks are available instantly and are powered by HPI (the company that originated this type of check).

Be a good buyer – Be a good buyer by turning up on time for your viewing, making a prompt decision (having done all the appropriate checks), and offering to take the car away promptly. If you need a loan, get it in place beforehand so you are ready to go. Offer the seller a guaranteed method of payment that both you and the seller are happy with. Being a good buyer that is able to move quickly is the best way of negotiating a good discount on the price of a car that is in otherwise perfect condition.


What is a CPH number? – A County Parish Number (CPH) number is a way of identifying your farm, business or small holding and keeps a trace of your livestock. This information becomes especially important if there is an outbreak of disease. To obtain a CPH number, you need to apply to the Rural Payments Agency (RPA).

When do I need a CPH number? – Regardless of whether you want to keep animals for business or just for companionship, you will need to apply for a CPH number to keep any of the following: cattle, sheep, goats, pigs (that includes micro pigs!), alpacas, llamas, poultry (over 50 birds).

What is an AML document? – Once you have your valid CPH number, and you are ready to go and pick up your livestock, the seller will need to have an AML document ready before your new friends can come home with you. AML (Animal Movement Legislation) documents, help track any potential spread of disease, and are required for all livestock – even if you are just moving one animal. There are different rules and regulations for different types of livestock – you can find out more here.

As part of this documentation, the seller will be referred to as the “departing address”, and they are responsible for providing you with this document. There are several sections of the document which need to be filled in by the seller, the person transporting the animals, and yourself once the animals have arrived on your premises. Within three days of your animals arriving on your land, you must send the document to your local authority.

If you are to move your animals onto new premises in the future, or sell your animals at a later date, you will be responsible for sourcing an AML form to document their movements.

Registering your livestock animals – Once your livestock have arrived into their new homes, you will need to register them with Animal Health along with your CPH number. You can find more information about where to register your animals here. Once informed, Animal Health will register your animals for you and send you the relevant documentation. Your animals will need to be marked accordingly with their relevant identification numbers.

Please note that you must inform Animal Health if your correspondence address differs from your CPH address (where your animals are kept).

What are standstill rules? – Once your new livestock is on your premises, there are certain “standstill” rules you must adhere to. Depending on what your livestock is, there will be a period of time that your animals will not be allowed to move off your CPH registered address. This period acts as an incubation period allowing time for any noticeable diseases to be detected.
If you are bringing in a new member to your existing farmyard family, not only will standstill rules apply to your new animal, but also to any livestock animals in the same CPH address. You can find out more information on standstill rules here.


When owning any animal, whether they are a pet or livestock, you have a duty of care in regards to their welfare. Gov.uk have detailed guidance in regards to various animal welfare regulations for different groups of livestock animals. Make sure you take the time to read through their detailed regulation guides so you are aware of what you must adhere to when owning livestock.