Churchill magazine

What paperwork do you need when selling your car?

Updated on: 24 September 2020


Don’t put off the paperwork

The sales agreement has been drawn up; you’ve received payment and you have handed over the keys. All that’s left to do now is the paperwork. Paperwork is a legal requirement, so don’t put it off, do it straight away.

V5C document

You must inform the DVLA  of the sale by filling in and sending off the form on the vehicle’s V5C registration document. Do this as soon as possible following the sale, as it proves you have sold the vehicle. Failing to do this will result in a fine. For more information, visit the DVLA website.

Remember, all the car details, such as engine size, the car colour, registration and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), should all be listed on the V5C document. You’ll find it hard to get a buyer if your name and current address isn’t on the V5C.

For more information on how to fill out and make changes to the V5C form, see the GOV website.  Some parts will stay with the seller, and other parts of the form will need to be given to the buyer.

You then need to return the rest of the V5C to DVLA (section 10). If you don’t send the document, you’ll have to pay for any parking or traffic fines and tax reminders, as DVLA will think the car is still yours.

MOT certificates and service history

If you have all the MOT certificates, you’re more likely to get a price close to your asking price. They’re proof that your car is roadworthy and well-cared for, and shows thorough checks and repairs have been done on your car.

Make a receipt

It’s a good idea to write out a receipt to the buyer, which includes things such as:

  • Car make and model

  • Registration number

  • Mileage

  • Acknowledgement the seller/buyer have agreed a price for the vehicle and the money has been received

  • A date and the signatures of both you the seller and the buyer

Then keep a copy of the receipt for yourself, and hand one over to the buyer.

Other actions

If your car is listed with a security register you must also inform them of the sale. If the requisite forms are not with the rest of your paperwork, there should be a number printed on the car’s windows to call. Remember to make sure you have noted these details before the buyer drives off.

And finally, is the car under warranty, either an independent or manufacturers? If it is, don’t forget to get in touch with the warranty provider and give them the new owner’s details.    

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