How to Change a Car’s registered Keeper
Buying and selling a car in the UK is a relatively simple process compared to other countries. However, you need to follow the correct procedure to properly and legally transfer ownership of the vehicle to another person. This useful guide sets out the essential steps for ensuring the safe and smooth transfer of a car, whether you’re the seller or buyer.
Car Sellers Guide to Transferring Ownership
Every UK registered car has a V5C document, commonly known as the log book, which shows the vehicle’s registered keeper. The document has a V5C/2 section - “Selling or transferring my vehicle to a new keeper.” When you’ve agreed to sell your car, you need to fill in this section, tear it off and give to the new owner as proof that the car’s registered keeper has changed.
In the past, you had to fill in sections of the V5C and send it to the DVLA, but the agency has simplified the process by enabling you to complete it online. Just visit the DVLA website and fill in the required details. You’ll need to provide the buyer’s email address. You will receive instant email confirmation of the changes followed by written confirmation in the post. You now follow the same process if you are selling your car to a motor trader as you would for a private buyer.
Once the change of keeper has been confirmed, you’ll receive a refund of any remaining Vehicle Excise Duty (VED), also known as road tax, that’s outstanding for that year. The road tax can no longer be transferred with the vehicle.
What to Do When You’re Buying a Car
When you’re buying a vehicle privately, always check that the seller has the V5C and that the details are correct. Make sure the seller’s name and address are correct and that the vehicle’s make, model, colour, engine size, and chassis number match the car you’re looking at.
Once you’ve agreed to buy the car, confirm that the seller is using the DVLA’s online service and, if so, give them your email address. You’ll also receive an email confirmation of the transfer. The new V5C document will be posted to you and you should receive it in around five days.
As the road tax is not transferrable with the car, you will need to tax the vehicle immediately or declare a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN). Taxing your new car is quick and easy to do on the DVLA website. You’ll need a credit or debit card and the 12-digit reference number from section six of the V5C/2 “new keeper” document.
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