Can I sell my car without a V5C (logbook)?

Yes, it is possible to sell your car without a V5C. However, you should be aware that the government’s official guidance for buyers is to avoid these situations as the vehicle becomes difficult to tax without a V5C in place.

Dealers and online car buying services may be willing to purchase a car without a valid logbook, but they’ll still need to obtain one afterwards regardless. Depending on your circumstances and whether you’re buying or selling a car without a V5, there are a couple of options available to you.

Jamjar’s quick guide to the V5 takes you through the transfer of ownership process, including giving advice on what to do if you’ve lost the certificate but still want to sell your car.

What is a V5C (log book) and why do I need one?

The V5C, also known as the registration document or logbook and commonly shortened to V5, is the document that legally registers and proves ownership of a vehicle. When you sell your car, you’ll need the V5C to be transferred to the new owner, or they won’t be able to register for vehicle tax.

Transferring ownership of a vehicle with a V5C as a seller

If at all possible, you should have a valid V5C certificate at the time you come to sell your car. If this is the case, transferring ownership is simple if you use the government’s online service to do so. Simply fill out the different fields the online system presents you with to complete the process.

As part of this process, you’ll also have the option to enter the email address of the buyer. They don’t have to provide you with this information, but entering it means that they’ll get an email confirmation as soon as the change of ownership request has been processed. Whether or not they receive an email, they’ll receive the new V5 in the post within 5 working days of you completing the online process.

As an additional part of the sale, you, the current owner, should complete and tear off the V5C/2 section of the logbook, giving this slip to the new owner. This acts as proof of the transfer of ownership between the two parties.

It’s important to note that these steps are the same for whoever is buying the vehicle, whether they’re a private buyer, a dealer, or an online car buying a business like those that Jamjar sources quote from.

Applying for a replacement V5C as a seller

The most straightforward solution is to apply for a replacement V5 while the vehicle is still in your possession, assuming you had a valid certificate at some point in your ownership. The easiest way to do this is to apply by phone using this link. If you apply in this way, you should receive a new V5C within 5 working days. You can also apply by post, but the new certificate can take up to 6 weeks to arrive if you choose this option. Whichever method you choose, you’ll have to pay £25 for the replacement.

How to get a new certificate as a buyer

If you do get to the point where you’ve agreed to a deal without a V5 and the buyer is happy to take the car, they won’t be able to register it for tax until they have their own, up to date V5. In order to obtain a new logbook, the buyer will need to download and fill out a V62 form, which they’ll have to send to the DVLA in the post.

Sending off the V62 costs the applicant £25 and they should receive their V5 within 6 weeks. If they haven’t received the certificate in that time they’ll have to contact the DVLA by phone to follow it up. In the meantime, they won’t be able to drive the vehicle.

Having the buyer apply for registration like this should only ever be a last resort. If at all possible, you as the current owner should apply for a new V5 in advance of the sale to make sure that all the right paperwork is in place at the first instance. You may find it much harder to sell if you don’t.

Other documents

To find out more about other documents it may be useful to have to hand if you’re looking to sell, continue reading our guides below. Or simply enter your reg below and find out how much you could sell your car for!

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