How to transfer ownership of a car

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How to transfer ownership of a car

When you think about the transfer of ownership of a car, it sounds dreadful. You automatically think of how complicated and long the process must be with endless amounts of paperwork and no idea where to start.

All you want to do is hand over the keys and be done with it, but unfortunately, it’s not as simple as that. Truth is, there actually is a bit of paperwork to fill out and some digging to do before you can get your hands on the cash.

To help you get started, here are just a few things that you might want to be aware of.

Find out who is the registered keeper

First things first, ask yourself who is the owner and who is the keeper. Once you’ve cracked this, you’ll be on to a winner. You might think you already know the answer and that this is a really basic question, but actually, the owner and the keeper can either be the same person, or they can be different.

Let’s look at the difference between ownership and keeper:

Ownership – this is what we refer to when we’re talking about what is legally required in order to be the registered keeper of a vehicle.

Keeper – the keeper of a car is the person that is named on the V5C (registration document) and is legally responsible for the vehicle.

The keeper is the primary person and the one who would be liable should that vehicle ever get on the wrong side of the law. It doesn’t matter who paid for the car, whoever’s name is on that V5C form is responsible for all things relating to that car, including tax, insurance, MOT, etc.

So if you’re the keeper and you’re car has been caught for speeding, even if you weren’t driving, you’ll still be liable.

Let’s talk about the V5C

These days, many people refer to the car registration document or the logbook, when we talk about the name of the legal document that has the keepers name on it, but the actual name for this document is the V5C.

If you’ve ever seen a V5C then you’ll know what it looks like, but if you’re not quite sure, it’s a formal-looking, red, blue, and pink document.

This fancy document is issued by the DVLA when a car is registered for the very first time. Going forward, each time there is a new owner, the car’s V5C will have to be changed and sent back to the DVLA. As annoying as this sounds, sadly, it is true and something that you will have to do. Once you’ve done this, a new one will then be issued to the new owner.

You’ll need to complete the V5C paperwork, not with your current owner details, but by completing the section of the new owner details. There are some other bits and pieces that you can fill out too, like the mileage section, this can prove to be helpful.

How to transfer ownership online

Although there is a bit of paperwork involved in completing that V5C, that’s pretty much all of it. Believe it or not, you can actually apply to transfer the ownership of a vehicle online!

It’s easier and faster than you might have first thought these days.

To transfer ownership online, you will need:

  • details of the new owner
  • the 11-digit reference number from the car’s V5C

Once this form has been completed, you’re sorted. You and the new owner will receive a confirmation email and the new V5C will be sent to the owner as soon as possible.

How to transfer ownership to a car dealer or garage

When you’re transferring ownership of a vehicle, there’s one fascinating fact that you should be aware of. Each time that a vehicle is transferred to a new owner, the number of owners increases by one. However, this does not increase when it is sold to a dealer or a trader.

The good news is, you don’t need to fill out section 6 on the V5C when selling to a dealer. Instead, you just need to fill out section 9, tear it off, and send it to the DVLA.

With the rest of the document, you just need to give this to the trader. This is also the same process when it comes to selling for scrap too.

Now that you know all about how to transfer the ownership of your vehicle, we hope that we’ve left you feeling more confident with the process and that it’s not as scary as you might first think.

If you want to look online and you’re thinking about selling your car to an online car buying comparison site like us, we would be more than happy to help you with that. Just head over to our valuation page to find out how much your car is worth and how easy it is to transfer ownership.