How to Notify DVLA about Change of Ownership

If you’ve recently sold or scrapped your vehicle in the UK, it’s crucial to inform the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) about the change of ownership. Why? Because this ensures that you’re no longer responsible for the vehicle and any associated obligations, oh and also – it’s the law!

In this concise guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to notify the DVLA, covering both selling to a dealer or private individual and scrapping your vehicle.

Section 1: Gather the Required Information

Before you begin, gather the following details:

  1. Vehicle Registration Certificate (V5C) or logbook: This document contains important information about the vehicle.
  2. New keeper’s details: If you’ve sold your vehicle, gather the buyer’s name and address. If the vehicle has been scrapped, you won’t need this information.

Section 2: Selling Your Vehicle

Whether you sell your vehicle to a dealer or a private individual, follow these steps to notify the DVLA:

  1. Step 1: Complete the V5C: Fill out the relevant sections of the V5C form. If selling to a dealer, complete Section 6 titled ‘sold it to a motor trader.’ If selling to a private individual, give them the green ‘new keeper supplement’ section from the V5C.
  2. Step 2: Inform the DVLA Online: For a quick and convenient process, use the DVLA’s dedicated online service. Select the appropriate option: ‘sold it to a motor trader’ or ‘sold it to a private individual.’ Enter the necessary details, including the buyer’s information, vehicle registration number, and V5C document reference number.
  3. Step 3: Consider Alternative Methods: If preferred, you can notify the DVLA by post. Complete Section 9 of the V5C (titled ‘selling or transferring your vehicle to a motor trader, insurer, or dismantler’) and send it to the DVLA’s address in Swansea.

Section 3: Scrapping Your Vehicle

If you’re scrapping your vehicle, follow these steps:

  1. Step 1: Inform the DVLA Online: Use the DVLA’s online service and select the option to ‘take a vehicle off the road (SORN).’ Provide the necessary information, including your vehicle’s registration number.
  2. Step 2: Contact an Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF) also known as  a scrapyard: Get in touch with an AuthoriSed Treatment Facility (ATF) to arrange the proper disposal of your vehicle.
  3. Step 3: Obtain a Certificate of Destruction: After scrapping, the ATF will provide you with a Certificate of Destruction (CoD), confirming the proper disposal of your vehicle.
The different sections of a V5C

Section 4: Additional Considerations

Remember these important points during the change of ownership process:

  • Replacement V5C: It’s best to have a replacement V5C before selling a vehicle. However, if you sell without one, write to the DVLA with specific information about the vehicle, the sale, and the new owner’s details.
  • Importance of Notification: Notifying the DVLA is vital to avoid potential issues such as penalties, fines, or liability for a vehicle you no longer own. Be proactive and notify the DVLA promptly.
  • Insurance and Road Tax: Contact your insurance provider to cancel coverage and potentially receive a refund. You may also be eligible for a road tax refund, which should happen automatically but can be further explored on the DVLA’s website.
  • Vehicle Tracker Subscription: Don’t forget to cancel your vehicle tracker subscription if applicable.

Do I need to keep a copy of all this?

After notifying the DVLA, it’s a good idea to keep a record or obtain proof of the notification. This can be in the form of email confirmations, reference numbers, or copies of the submitted documents. Having these records on hand serves as evidence of your compliance with the DVLA’s requirements.

Outstanding Finance:

If there is outstanding finance on the vehicle you’ve sold, it’s important to inform the finance company about the change of ownership. It’s crucial to notify them separately from the DVLA to ensure that any financial obligations are properly transferred to the new owner.

Release of Liability:

When selling a vehicle, it’s advisable to include a written agreement or contract that outlines the terms of the sale and clearly states that the buyeer assumes all responsibility and liability for the vehicle from the date of sale. This can protect you from any potential disputes or legal issues that may arise after the sale.

What happens if I don’t inform the DVLA?

If you don’t bother to tell the DVLA that you’ve sold your car, you’re setting yourself up for a world of trouble. Ignoring this important step can lead to all sorts of complications that you’d rather avoid. Here’s the honest truth about what could happen:

First off, if you keep quiet about selling your car, it means the DVLA will still think you’re the proud owner. That means you’ll be stuck with legal responsibilities for a vehicle you no longer own. Picture this: you could end up being held accountable for someone else’s traffic offences, parking tickets, or any other penalties they rack up. Yeah, it’s as messy as it sounds.

But wait, there’s more! Neglecting to inform the DVLA could also result in some serious financial consequences: if the new owner doesn’t bother to register the vehicle properly or pay the necessary road tax, guess who gets to foot the bill? You guessed it—good old you. So be prepared for fines and penalties to come raining down on your head. Trust me, it’s not a pleasant experience.

Oh, and let’s not forget the joy of having incorrect information on record. If the DVLA still has you listed as the owner, it’s a recipe for confusion and headaches. Imagine getting caught up in an accident or dealing with insurance claims, only to find out that the ownership details are all messed up.

What happens if I’ve lost my V5C?

We’re all human, and sometimes things go missing or get misplaced. While it’s generally recommended to have the V5C before selling a vehicle, let’s explore what you can do if you find yourself in this situation. Here’s the lowdown:

First things first, selling a car without a V5C isn’t illegal per se. However, it’s important to note that most buyers would think twice about purchasing a vehicle without this crucial document. It’s like trying to sell a mystery box – potential buyers might be wary, and rightfully so.

But let’s say circumstances have conspired against you, and you’ve managed to sell your car without the blessed V5C in your possession. Fear not, my friend, there’s still a way out of this conundrum. Here’s what you can do:

You’ll need to reach out to the DVLA and provide them with some key information. It’s time to grab a pen and paper (or your trusty computer) and get ready to write. You’ll need to send a letter to the DVLA, including the following details:

  1. Your name and address (Yes, they need to know who you are).
  2. The car’s registration number (the magical combination of letters and numbers that uniquely identifies your vehicle).
  3. Make and model of the car (so they know exactly what you were selling).
  4. The precise date you sold the car (no need to be fuzzy about it).
  5. The new owner’s name and address (so the DVLA knows who to transfer the ownership to).

Remember, it’s crucial to include all this information in your letter. Otherwise, the DVLA might reject your notification, and you’ll have to start the process all over again. Nobody wants that.

Let me know in the comments below how you get on!

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Our experts continually monitor motor industry news & research, and we update our articles when new information becomes available.

  • 27th June 2023
    Current Article - By Harry Edwell
  • 11th April 2024
    Checked & Reviewed - By Sjoerd Bakker
  • 27th June 2023
    Copy Edited - By Harry Edwell
  • 23rd April 2024
    Reviewed - By Harry Edwell

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