What documents do I need to sell my car?
To ensure that everything goes smoothly with any car sale, whoever the buyer is, there are some documents that you should prepare. If you gather these together before you actually agree to sell your car, you can minimise the risk of jeopardising the sale through not having a particular document. It’s very important to be prepared, as having the right paperwork when you sell your car can help protect you if legal issues come up after the fact.
The V5C, also known as the Registration Document or Logbook, is the most important document to have to hand when you sell your car. In fact, it’s so important that we’ve given it its own article to help you understand the ins and outs.
Some buyers, if you’re selling privately, will want to see a valid MOT certificate for the car (unless they already know it doesn’t have one). This can be the case if you’re selling to an online buying service or trading into a dealership, as well as if you’re selling privately.
It’s easy to check the MOT status of a vehicle online, and if you need but don’t have a paper certificate, you can apply for a replacement from any MOT centre. Simply give the test centre (which doesn’t have to be the same one that tested your car) your vehicle’s registration number and V5C (registration document or logbook) reference number and the centre will provide you with a certificate. Be aware that this service isn’t free. The centre can charge you £10 or half the price of your last test, whichever is the lower amount.
Service history and work receipts
Some buyers, especially private buyers, will insist on seeing your car’s service history on top of its MOT status. This is unsurprising, as the service history can significantly impact the value of a car. The most important documents to show that make up service history are any invoices you’ve received for the services and, even more importantly, official stamps in your service book showing that the work has been officially carried out.
While receipts for other work on the car are not normally necessary to seal a deal, it may be helpful to have them to hand, especially if they refer to work that significantly affected the value of the car or the buyer’s decision to buy. Receipts for commonly replaced parts, like tyres, could also be handy if they’ve been replaced recently, as they cover your back should anything go wrong after the sale.
This is one document that you won’t need to have in advance of a sale being agreed, but it should be drawn up as soon as you and the buyer are happy for everything to go ahead. If you’re selling privately, the onus will be on you to produce this document, but you should always check for proof of the sale, whoever you’re selling to.
There are a few different bits of information that should go into a sales receipt to make sure that all the ground is covered:
- The sale price and date.
- The vehicle registration number and year of registration.
- The make, model and colour of the car.
- Vehicle identification number (VIN).
- The car’s mileage (‘put mileage not verified’ if you can’t get a number that’s completely accurate).
- Name and address for both you and the buyer.
- Include a clause that the car was ‘sold as seen’ – this is important from a legal point of view.
If you’re selling your car while it’s still in warranty, you should hand over any paperwork that you have to the buyer. Doing so will ensure that they can benefit from any time remaining.
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