Your Responsibilities when Selling your Car

Selling a car requires certain responsibilities on the part of seller. The main responsibility that you need to be aware is the requirement of informing the DVLA that the ownership of the vehicle has changed hands. Without this, you can still be liable for the vehicle, as you will still be the registered owner of the vehicle as far as the DVLA are concerned. This article offers advice on meeting your responsibilities as a seller when it comes to selling your car. 

Notifying the DVLA of a Private Sale

When you sell a car to a new owner, the DVLA need to be informed that you are no longer the registered owner of the vehicle. If this is not done, you can still be liable for the vehicle, even though you are no longer the owner. The DVLA will expect to be informed as soon as the vehicle passes between owners.

For a two-part V5C registration document: Fill in the 'notification of sale or transfer' section and send it to the DVLA. The other half of the document should be given to the buyer on purchase of the vehicle. The buyer is then responsible for informing the DVLA of the new ownership which can either be done online via the GOV.UK DVLA website or via post.

For the three-part V5C registration document: Fill in the top half (the blue part) of the three-part V5 registration declaration with the details of the new owner. You will need to sign the document (as will the person to whom you are selling the vehicle). Once this is done, you need to send it to the DVLA via post or completing the sold, purchased, transferred form on the GOV DVLA website. Give the green section to the new owner so that he or she can fill it in themselves.

For the V5C registration certificate: Fill in section 6 (the 'new keeper or new name/ new address details' section), and both you and the new owner need to sign the declaration in section 8. The green section should be given to the buyer. As with the V5 registration declaration document, it is your responsibility to send this to the DVLA.

Once the DVLA have been notified of the change in ownership, they should send you a letter within around a month to confirm that you are no longer liable for the vehicle.

Notifying the DVLA of a Part Exchange Deal

If you sell your car to a motor dealer, you should fill in the yellow section of the V5C registration certificate, and pass the rest of the form onto the motor dealer.

If you have a two-part V5 registration document, fill in the red section (complete with the details and signature of the motor trader), send it to the DVLA via post or fill out the online DVLA form on their website and give the rest of the document to the motor trader.

Once you have sent the relevant documentation to the DVLA, you should receive confirmation that you are no longer liable for the vehicle within around a month.

When you come to sell a car, you need to make sure that you have taken care of certain selling responsibilities, including making sure that the DVLA are aware of the fact that the vehicle has changed owners.


Disclaimer: The information in the article is for general purpose information only and should not be constituted as legal advice. This article has been produced by a third party and Jardine Motors does not take any responsibility for the completeness, accuracy, or reliability with respect to the website or the information provided. Article last updated February 2021