How to Tell the DVLA You've Sold Your Car

Sold a vehicle? | Find out how to inform the DVLA you are no longer liable for a previously owned car or van.

Tuesday 18th of June 2024 17:00 BST

5.5 minute read

Discover how to inform the DVLA you've sold your car quickly and correctly. Follow our step-by-step guide now! Stay compliant effortlessly.

How to Tell the DVLA You've Sold Your Car

Selling a car can be an exciting yet daunting experience. One important step is informing the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) that you have sold a vehicle. People often tend to overlook this step.

Notifying them of the sale is crucial. Failing to do so can lead to legal complications and potential fines. This guide will walk you through why it's important to notify the DVLA, how to do it, and what pitfalls to avoid.

Why You Should Inform the DVLA You've Sold a Car

When you sell your car, it's your legal responsibility to inform the DVLA about the change of vehicle ownership. This ensures that you are no longer liable for the vehicle. Including any road tax, penalties, or fines incurred after the sale.

Notifying the DVLA about a change of ownership also protects you from potential fraud. Ensuring that the DVLA register new owner correctly.

How-To: Inform the DVLA I've Sold my Car

You can inform the DVLA that you've sold a car online via a form on the DVLA website or by post using the V5C form. Choose method that suits you best to ensure a smooth transition of ownership.

Gather Necessary Information

  • You'll need the vehicle registration certificate (V5C), often referred to as the logbook.
  • V5C document reference number
  • Ensure you have the new keeper's name and address.

Complete the V5C Form

  • Fill out the ‘new keeper’ section (Section 6) of the V5C form.
  • Both you and the new owner must sign the declaration in Section 8.

Send the V5C to the DVLA

  • Tear off and give the green new keeper slip (Section 10) to the new owner.
  • Send the completed V5C form to: DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1BA.

Notify the DVLA Online

Once you've notified the DVLA about a change of keeper. You will get a letter in four weeks confirming that you are no longer the owner of the vehicle.

What Should I Do If I Don't Have My Car’s V5C?

Don't worry If you lose your car's V5C (Logbook). There are steps you can take to fix the situation.

Applying for a Replacement V5C

If you lose, steal, damage, or never receive your V5C, you can apply for a replacement from the DVLA. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Application Form: Fill out an application form for a V62 (Application for a Vehicle Registration Certificate). This form is available online on the DVLA website or at your local Post Office.
  2. Documents Required: You’ll need to provide documents that prove your identity and your entitlement to the vehicle. This typically includes your driving licence, passport, or other identification documents, along with proof of address.
  3. Fee: There is a fee associated with applying for a replacement V5C, which is currently £25 as of 2024. You can pay this fee by cheque or postal order made payable to 'DVLA Swansea'.
  4. Submission: Send the completed application form and supporting documents to the address specified on the form.
  5. Processing Time: You should receive your replacement V5C within 4 weeks of the DVLA receiving your application.

Selling or Transferring Ownership Without the V5C

It's ideal to have the V5C when selling or transferring your vehicle. However, in some cases, you can still proceed without it.

  • Selling Privately: Inform the buyer about the situation and provide them with a receipt or proof of sale. Advise them that you will send them the V5C once received.
  • Selling to a Dealer: Dealers are familiar with the process of applying for a replacement V5C. They may proceed with the purchase, contingent on you providing the replacement V5C promptly.

Taxing Your Vehicle Without the V5C

If you need to tax your vehicle and don’t have the V5C:

  • Use the 11-digit reference number from your vehicle's V5C/2 (green slip) to tax the vehicle at a Post Office. If you don't have it, you can use the 16-digit number on your vehicle tax reminder or registration certificate.

Fraud Prevention

Informing the DVLA about the sale of your car also plays a significant role in fraud prevention. If you do not inform the DVLA about the new registered keeper, you are legally responsible for the car. This means you could be liable for fines or charges incurred by the new owner. Additionally, criminals often use unreported vehicles for illegal activities, so updating the DVLA helps in reducing such risks.

Selling Privately

When selling your vehicle privately, it's crucial to take additional steps to ensure a smooth transferring of car ownership:

  • Ensure you remove any private registration numbers before transferring ownership of your vehicle, or you may lose it permanently.
  • Meet potential buyers in a safe, public place.
  • Verify the buyer's identity and address.
  • Ensure the buyer understands that they must update their details with the DVLA.

After the sale, always make sure to inform the DVLA immediately to avoid any liabilities.

Selling to a Trade/Business

Changing the ownership of vehicle to a dealer or business, is slightly different but still straightforward:

  • Fill out Section 9 of the V5C form. Labelled 'Notification of sale or transfer to a motor trader, insurer, or dismantler.'
  • Send Section 9 to the DVLA.
  • The dealer should handle the rest of the paperwork.

Dealers are familiar with the process. However, you must ensure that you notify the DVLA of the sale.

Potential Pitfalls of Not Informing the DVLA

Failing to inform the DVLA of the sale of your car can lead to several issues:

  • Fines and Penalties: You may receive fines for offences committed by the new owner.
  • Liability: If a car registered in your name is involved in an accident Authorities may hold you responsible or the incident.
  • Unpaid Taxes: You may be responsible for any car tax charges until you notify the DVLA of the change.

If you don't update your vehicle registration details, the DVLA can take legal action against you. This could result in a court appearance and a criminal record.


Informing the DVLA when you sell your car so you're not responsible for it anymore. Also preventing potential fraud. We've discussed the importance of this step, provided a quick how-to guide.

Finally, explained the differences between selling privately and to a trade or business. Additionally, we highlighted the potential pitfalls of not informing the DVLA, such as fines, penalties, and liability for accidents.

Remember, once you've sold your vehicle. You notify the DVLA immediately via the V5C form or online at This small step can save you from potential legal and financial troubles in the future. By following these steps, you can ensure a smooth transfer of ownership and protect yourself from any future liabilities.

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Excellent communication and servicing during the purchase and an efficient follow-up once we had bought our car. Would recommend anyone buying a car to try Direct Cars.

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