Selling a car without a Logbook (V5C)

Oct 04, 2023

Selling a car without a Logbook (V5C) | Sweven Plates - Supplier of 3D Gel, 4D Number Plates, 4D Gel Plates and Replacement Number Plates

If you've found your way here, you're probably interested in selling your car without a V5C logbook, and you might be wondering about the legality of such a transaction. The good news is, it is indeed possible, though it does come with some complexities compared to a standard sale with the logbook in hand. 

What is a V5C and why does it matter?

The V5C, often referred to as the logbook, is the official registration document for your vehicle. While it doesn't serve as absolute proof of ownership, it is crucial for taxation and registration purposes. Despite the digitalisation of many aspects of the automotive industry, the V5C is still issued in paper form. Although you can update its details online, a fully digital copy is not available.

Aside from identifying the registered keeper's name and address, the V5C contains essential information such as the make and model of the vehicle, its color, engine sise, and the unique Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). These details are crucial for verifying the authenticity of the logbook against the specific vehicle.

Can I sell my car without the V5C?

Yes, it is entirely legal to sell a car without a V5C logbook. However, it's advisable to obtain one before proceeding with the sale. Not having a V5C can deter potential buyers, as it may raise concerns about the vehicle's legitimacy, even though it's not necessarily indicative of a stolen car. Buyers might also use the absence of a V5C as leverage to negotiate a lower price, so spending £25 for a replacement logbook and waiting for it to be issued can be a wise investment.

Furthermore, buyers may worry that the seller has taken out a 'logbook loan,' which involves using the car as collateral for a loan, with the lender holding the logbook until the loan is repaid. To minimise such concerns, consider obtaining a replacement V5C before selling your car.

Selling a car without the V5C

If you decide to sell your car without a V5C, be transparent about this fact when listing the vehicle for sale. Honesty upfront can save both you and potential buyers time by filtering out those who are not interested in purchasing a car without the logbook. You are not restricted in terms of where you can sell the car, but selling through a car dealer may be more challenging, as they often require complete documentation.

Once the sale is finalised, you must inform the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) of the sale in writing. Use the government's official online service for this purpose and provide the following details:

  • Your name and address
  • Vehicle registration number
  • Make and model of the vehicle
  • Exact date of sale
  • Name and address of the new owner

Getting a replacement V5C for your car

Although selling a car without a logbook is legal, it is highly recommended to obtain a replacement document before listing your vehicle for sale. This is a straightforward process and can alleviate any concerns potential buyers may have, ensuring you get the best possible price.

To obtain a replacement V5C, visit the DVLA's website. The cost is typically £25, payable by card, and you will need specific details, including the vehicle's registration number, chassis number (usually located on the dashboard), your name, and postcode. If you apply online, you should receive your replacement document within five days. If it takes longer than two weeks, contact the DVLA.

What to do with a V5C when selling your car

Once the sale is complete, provide the green 'new keeper slip' to the buyer. This slip acts as a temporary document, displaying the new owner's name and address. Subsequently, inform the DVLA of the vehicle's sale, furnishing the full name and address of the buyer. This step may also trigger any vehicle tax refund you are entitled to.

If the new owner plans to take the car abroad and register it there, complete the 'permanent export' section and send it to the DVLA in Swansea, at the address SA99 1BD.