I’ve sold my car
DVLA Sold car notification
Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency are responsible for retaining vehicle details and owner information in the UK. Detailed data is held on the gov.uk website.
Motorists are expected to notify DVLA when they have bought or sold a car.
They should also be familiar with annual MOT tests and certificates, road tax responsibilities and driver licensing, as each area involves keeping on the road legally in the United Kingdom.
Check vehicle details
Use the service when buying or selling a vehicle
Registration document (V5C Logbook)
The logbook is the main vehicle document containing full vehicle details and the personal information of the registered keeper.
DVLA expect car owners to keep up to date personal details and notify of any significant changes to vehicle specification.
If not, drivers may incur legal penalties, including fines and penalty points, even when proof that the registered keeper did not own the vehicle.
Drivers must continually provide up-to-date information without exception.
Informing DVLA that you have sold your car is quick and straightforward to do online (preferred) or via the vehicle registration document.
Selling a car and notifying DVLA, a marriage made in heaven.
DVLA and selling a vehicle explained
- What vehicle and owner information is DVLA responsible for?
- How can the DVLA database help car buyers?
- Why you need to tell DVLA when you’ve sold your car
- Selling a car without a V5 logbook
- Sold your car and telling DVLA
- How to cancel tax and get a refund from the DVLA
- DVLA MOT Advisory notes for car buyers
- Obtaining car owner details
- Contacting DVLA about selling a car
- How to tell DVLA you are keeping your private number plate
Look at our full 2021 DVLA new keeper guide.
8 Things the DVLA are responsible for managing
Their head office is situated in Swansea, South Wales.
Nationally, the DVLA are accountable for:
- Vehicle registration documents (V5’s with document reference number)
- Photocard drivers licences including new licences, loss, and renewal
- Endorsements, medical conditions and disqualifications
- Road tax check renewals
- Ministry Of Transport data (Mots and MOT history)
- Enforcement actions against tax evaders and those drivers uninsured
- Selling personalised registration number plates
- Support to the Police when dealing with car crime
The extensive vehicle and owner database is used to identify and reduce stolen cars and mileage check fraud.
DVLA ensures all vehicles on the road have up-to-date vehicle tax, MOT certificates and car insurance checks. Those that don’t must be declared SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification).
How the database helps car buyers
Car buyers can check the registration certificate and compare it with the vehicle and DVLA online data.
Compare the following information:
- Vehicle make, model, variant, fuel type and body colour
- Registration plate number
- Owner’s name and address with the logbook
- Engine and VIN numbers
These help a buyer understand if the seller is the registered keeper.
Selling and protection against logbook fraud
The V5 document reference number should not be shared over the phone as this 11-digit code may enable a fraudulent, duplicate copy of the logbook to be issued.
Tell DVLA you’ve sold your car
Notify DVLA at the point of sale, preferably before the new owner drives away in the old car.
What can happen if DVLA are not notified of a sale or transfer
Until DVLA is told that a vehicle is sold, the registered keeper remains on record as the individual responsible for vehicle tax, MOT status, and insurance.
Penalties and convictions
Furthermore, suppose the car is involved in a road traffic accident or found to be speeding, driven, or parked illegally. In that case, the registered keeper will assume responsibility even if there is proof of a change of ownership.
Tell the DVLA as soon as you have sold your car. It is essential and should be considered part of the sales transaction.
The type of notification DVLA requires will depend on who the buyer is. Regardless, the vehicle log book must be updated whether selling privately to a motor trader or transferring to a friend or family member.
Buying/selling but lost my log book
Currently, it remains legal to sell my car without a logbook, although it poses problems:
- The buyer may be suspicious
- The car may be stolen
- The owner may have a number plate logbook loan secured against the car
- The new owner can’t tax the car without the logbook or vehicle tax reminder letter (but check this shortcut to taxing a car without a v5 logbook)
Go here to apply for a vehicle registration certificate V62 service (Cost, £25)
Sold car informing DVLA
The vehicle registration document must be updated when selling your car.
Declaration of private sale
It’s quick and straightforward – complete Section 2 (new style logbook) of the V5C registration document. It is mandatory to provide the name, address of the new keeper and postcode (UK resident), and the date of sale.
Copy the owner’s details again in Section 6 and record their name and address for your reference.
Avoiding a common mistake
The new owner keeps green Section 6. They can tax the car with this vital tear off section.
The remainder of the document is sent to DVLA, Swansea, SA99 IBA
It’s preferred to handle DVLA notification online. It’s quick and straightforward, provided you have the logbook to hand and the buyers details.
Declaring sale or transfer to a trader
The motor dealer needs the logbook so they can go on and sell the car. To notify DVLA of sale to a motor trader, complete the yellow Section 4 with the motor traders business name, trading address, VAT registration number, and sale or transfer date.
The trader keeps the rest of the logbook and the existing keeper posts Section 4 to DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1BA.
Remember, you (not the car dealer) send Section 4 by post to the DVLA.
Cancelling vehicle tax and getting a refund
The buyer will need a valid insurance policy and road tax before driving away in their new car.
If you notified DVLA online, you’d automatically get a refund for any road fund license due. The direct debit mandate is automatically cancelled with notification sent to the registered email address.
Refunds include all full months of Vehicle Excise Duty (VED). DVLA will send a cheque to the name and address on the logbook, usually within a week.
Accessing DVLA for vehicle information
A CarVeto report provides all DVLA vehicle check details instantly.
You need the vehicle number plate to access the available online content. DVLA search service for all vehicle registrations:
- Basic vehicle details, including the make, model and variant, fuel type, engine size, date of registration, year of manufacturer, Euro stat, export status, and last V5C logbook issue, are also available.
- MOT status and current vehicle excise duty (including rates)
- MOT history with the pass, fail and advisory notes
- Safety recalls
Understanding MOT advisory notes (buying/selling)
MOT advisory notes let buyers know what a vehicle is likely to fail from in its proceeding MOT test. Any number of serious advisory notes may put off potential buyers. Items like a worn driveshaft or leaky steering rack can efficiently inhibit a sale.
Tyres, exhaust and brakes are less likely to prevent a car sale, although such items are often more expensive to repair and replace.
Looking for car owner data such as a name or address
DVLA offers personal ownership details in line with data protection compliance. You must have a legitimate reason for wanting an owners name or address. See DVLA V888 for more details.
Although a CarVeto cannot help find a car owner by registration number plate, it does provide the local DVLA office where the car was registered (i.e city/region).
Contact DVLA to say you’ve sold your car
Fill out the correct section of your V5C logbook. Private sellers complete Sections 2 and 6. Sale or transfer to a motor trader (often part exchange), and you need Section 4.
The registered keeper of the vehicle sends the relevant Section to DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1BD
After notifying DVLA of your car sale, expect an acknowledgement letter in less than four weeks.
DVLA Sold car and how to keep your private car reg number
Personalised number plates carry sentimental and monetary value. To keep a private plate, visit DVLA and follow their instructions.
As a general rule, when a private plate is removed from the car you sell, it is replaced with its original number.
It’s quick and straightforward to tell DVLA online or by post using the V317.
Assigning a plate to a new car is easy once you have the reference number provided after notification of transfer.
You can buy a personalised plate directly from DVLA or a private plate dealer.
I haven’t sold my car yet.
You can look at a private sale or use a car buying website.
Typically, private selling is time-consuming and tricky to manage. Because it can take so long to sell up, car selling websites are enjoying a boom with UK drivers.