Informing the DVLA of a car sale and claiming road tax

Selling a car comes with a couple of legal requirements regarding the DVLA and car tax. It’s essential that the person listed as a car’s registered keeper is up to date and that the person who currently owns the car is the one paying the tax.

Informing the DVLA online

The easiest way to ensure that ownership of a vehicle is transferred correctly is to use the DVLA’s online service. It doesn’t actually have to be the seller that fills in the online forms. In many cases, the buyer will be the one to fill out the new registration information with the seller’s consent.

When the online form has been completed, both parties will receive an email with information regarding the change of ownership. If you haven’t given your email address to the buyer, you’ll receive notification by post instead.

If you register the new owner online, you need to make sure that the buyer has possession of the current V5C’s section 10 or V5C/2. The rest of the V5C can be destroyed.

Informing the DVLA by post

You may be more comfortable organising the change of ownership via post than trusting the buyer to do it online. If this is your preference, you and the buyer can fill out section 6 of the existing V5C, sign section 8, then send the V5C to the DVLA. The buyer should receive the completed V5C/2 section.

What happens to my car tax?

As soon as the DVLA processes the change of ownership for your vehicle, they will automatically process a tax refund at the same time (if you’re eligible for one). They will refund you for the number of full months left for the year since you last paid for car tax.

What the new owner of the car does isn’t your concern. They are responsible to tax the car or SORN it before they drive it for the first time as its owner; whether they do so or not will have no impact on your refund.

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