If a car is on the road, it must have a Vehicle Registration Certificate, otherwise known as a V5C. The V5C, previously known as a V5 and often referred to as the motor’s logbook, is a document to show who is the registered keeper of the car, and where to send any correspondence relating to the car.
Why is a V5C Important?
While it may seem strange in the era of digitisation for something made of paper still regarded as one of the most important documents pertaining to your car, especially when all the details that you’ll find on the V5C are stored on the DVLA database, but to have the document in your possession acts as proof that you are the registered keeper of the car, but not necessarily the owner.
What information is on a V5C?
The V5C will detail the make, model, colour, and chassis number of your car, along with its engine size and what category it fits in to – everything on the road has the same style of V5C, from three-wheeled vans to supercars and even the heaviest of haulage trucks. If you need to make changes to any of these, then you will need to fill out several sections before sending it back to the DVLA headquarters in Swansea. It is important that you keep all the details on the document up to date, and failure to do so could see you facing a fine of up to £1,000.
What to do with a V5C after selling a car
Other than the car itself, the V5C is the most vital item in the process of car sales as it includes all the information about the motor that your buyer will want to know. After you’ve gone through the entire negotiation process, you will need to fill out the green ‘new keeper’ slip from the logbook and hand this to the buyer. Once the car has been transferred to the new owner, you must then tell the DVLA that it has been sold, providing them with the full name and address of the buyer. This is easily done on the gov.uk website, and failure to do so means you may not receive the tax refund that you would be entitled to. Once you have gone through all the necessary processes to transfer the car to the new owner, it is highly recommended that you destroy the old V5C so there is no chance of it falling into anyone else’s hands – the best methods are to either shred or burn.
What if you have no internet access?
While it is a much faster and straight-forward process to transfer all details via the DVLA’s online system, it is still possible to do things the old-fashioned way via the postal service. Of course, doing so will take much longer, particularly as the DVLA works on its hefty backlog thanks to the pandemic.
What if I’ve lost my V5C?
Whether you’re selling a car or not, making sure you have your V5C somewhere safe is an incredibly important part of car ownership and if yours has been lost, damaged, or destroyed, getting a new one should be high on the priorities list. Doing so, thankfully, is an easy process and, providing you have internet access, can be turned around in just five days via the gov.uk website. Otherwise, you will need to fill out a V62 form from the post office and send it off to Swansea, although this turnaround can take six weeks. In either case, you will need to pay £25 for the new logbook. Read more on scrapping without a V5C.
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