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Christmas Sale - Now On, A Very Merry Sale!

The most important thing to remember when selling a vehicle is to let DVLA know you have sold it. This applies whether you sell the vehicle privately, or to a motor dealer. You should inform DVLA of the sale immediately.

If you don't tell the DVLA, you'll still be responsible for the vehicle, and may receive fines that have been attributed to activity from the vehicle still in your name! Not only that, but you will be responsible for the vehicle's tax (or SORN).

Tell DVLA that you no longer own a vehicle, and you should receive a confirmation letter within 4 weeks.

Selling a Vehicle - What to Remember

Sellers of vehicles find themselves open to criminal activity. However you can protect yourself in the following ways:

  • Car thieves can pose as serious buyers - it sounds obvious, but don't let a buyer take your vehicle out for a test drive on their own when you're selling a vehicle
  • Similarly don't leave potential buyers with the keys or the car with the keys in the ignition
  • Use caution when accepting cheques or banker's drafts from vehicle buyers - wait for the funds to clear in your account before letting the buyer take the vehicle
  • Ask the buyer for some form of ID, and remember that they may also want some form of ID from you!
  • Know where your vehicle's VIN number is situated, as the vehicle buyer will want to check it

Your Vehicle Registration Certificate (V5C)

Allow the buyer to check the V5C. It's pretty unlikely you'll be able to sell the vehicle if you don't have one - so get a replacement V5C from DVLA if this is the case.

Private Number on Vehicle for Sale

Transfer or retain the registration number before you sell the vehicle. If you don't you will lose your entitlement to the number.

Selling a Vehicle Privately

It is common sense to take note of the buyer's name and address and keep this safely should you ever need it. Inform DVLA via your Registration Certificate that you've sold the vehicle.

If your inform the DVLA that you have sold or transferred your vehicle they will automatically refund your vehicle tax if there are any full months left on your vehicle tax.

If you don't have the V5C, you should still inform the DVLA of the vehicle sale. To do so write to DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1AR and explain that you have sold the vehicle. Include the:

  • Vehicle registration mark
  • Car make and model 
  • Exact date of sale of the vehicle
  • Name and address of the new keeper of the vehicle

Selling to a Motor Trader

Tell DVLA immediately via the V5C/3 section and pass the remaining parts of the document to the vehicle trader.

You should receive an acknowledgment letter within 4 weeks which will confirm you are no longer responsible for the vehicle.

Last updated: Friday 13th October 2023

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