The DVLA & selling your car – comprehensive guide

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The DVLA & selling your car – comprehensive guide

The DVLA are your best friends when it comes to selling your car. Selling your car might not be a big deal to you, but to the DVLA, it’s massive! They like to know exactly what you’re doing with your car all the time and they love it when you follow their guidance. So long as you tick their boxes here and there and fill out their paperwork, you’ll be well away and fingers crossed they won’t cause you any headaches later down the line.

Selling your car

We won’t beat around the bush, selling your car can be stressful, let’s not lie about it and say it’s not. From making sure that the service history and MOT documents are all up to date and ready to go, you need to know that your car is working properly and isn’t about to conk out when you next get in it. Then there’s the haggling. If you love haggling then you’ll be loving this and sorting out how you’re going to get paid. On the flip side, there’s the back and forth with buyers and getting annoyed at potential buyers walking away from a deal and having to pay for advertising fees. It’s not all suns and roses.

The one person you can’t get annoyed with or fall out with though is the DVLA. They are the top dog when selling your car and the truth is, no one can afford to ignore or avoid them. What they say goes, so you need to play ball. Ultimately, they’re there to help. It’s their job to look after us all with our cars. They register everyone’s driving licence in the entire UK and know all about every car that exists on British shores. You could say they know what they’re talking about and are very clever. They know who has to pay what and when and who owns what car, even its previous owner history too.

The DVLA likes to know all there is to know about you and your car, so make sure that your details with the DVLA are up to date is the key. Sharing is caring after all. They help make the car selling process worthwhile, helping buyers to buy with confidence and sellers can rest easy knowing they’re not in any trouble. It’s a win-win!


Is now the time to sell your car? Not before letting the DVLA know it isn’t. The DVLA keeps tabs on every driver on the road, every single roadworthy car in the UK. There’s no escaping it. With its headquarters in Swansea, they’re like a big smart computer and you need to let them know when you’re selling your car.

Before selling your car, you’ll need to apply to update your logbook (V5C) if you’ve:

  • changed your name or address
  • made changes to your car

Can you imagine the number of cars on the DVLA’s database? You can bet it’s insane the number of reg numbers that they have to sift through day in day out. If you’re selling your car, we wouldn’t be surprised if the DVLA knew about this before you did, that’s how good they are. It’s the same if you’re looking at purchasing a new car too because thanks to the DVLA, they hold all the information, past and present so you won’t be held hostage to sort through a mountain of paperwork.

There’s no need to worry, the DVLA has everything all under control, even down to the tax rates that you’ll potentially have to pay as a new owner of a car.

Just sold it?

Hey, hold it right there. As soon as you’ve completed the sale of your car, what’s the first thing you do? Go for a spin? No, the DVLA will be waiting for you to let them know that you’ve sold your car. The longer you delay letting them know, the longer you will remain as the named and registered owner of the car. It’s best all-around to get this done as soon as so they don’t start chasing you with a £1,000 fine!

For the paperwork, now is the time to fill in Section 6 or your logbook so that the new registered keeper can become the rightful owner. Once that’s done and dusted all that’s left to do is for you and the new owner to sign Section 8 and jobs a gooden. You can wave goodbye to your car and leave it in the capable hands of its new owner, making sure you send Section 1-8 to the DVLA of course.

You’ll find their address here:

SA99 1BA.

The DVLA is very thoughtful too and will very kindly let you know when they have received this information so you can sleep peacefully once you’ve got this. In general, the DVLA is easier to get hold of than you think. There is a handy ‘Contact DVLA’ section on their website too in case you get lost. They’re always going that extra mile for us to make sure we get it right.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter who you’re selling your car to, the DVLA needs to know about it. Even if you sell your car to us. We’ve been helping millions of people to value and sell their cars for years, and have been able to develop our processes as the years have gone by. This means we no longer need your personal details to be able to show you how much your car could be worth.

All we need is a few details about your car and you’re good to go. Of course, if you do sell your car with us, as long as you let the DVLA know too, you’ll be sorted. The quickest way to let the DVLA know that you’ve sold your car is online. Their record will be updated straight away and if your due a refund for any unused car tax, you’ll get that in a couple of days too, and jobs a gooden.

No matter how you let the DVLA know, as long as you do and you don’t forget to give the buyer the V5C Section 2, then all is good in the hood.