Advice on selling a vehicle

Advice on selling a vehicle

If you sell your vehicle, you should tell the DVLA in Swansea (Telling the DVLA if you sell a vehicle). You can do so on the appropriate section of the registration document or registration certificate. If you don't do this, you'll remain liable to pay vehicle tax and for all motoring offences committed with the vehicle until you do.

Important points to consider when selling a vehicle

Here is a list of things that can help to protect you from becoming a victim of crime when selling your vehicle:

  • Remember that thieves can pose as potential buyers.
  • Never let the buyer go on a test drive alone as they may not come back.
  • Don't leave the buyer alone with your keys in the ignition.
  • Be careful when accepting cheques or banker's drafts. If they're fraudulent or counterfeit, you'll lose the money. Cheques and drafts take time to be cleared, so don't give your car away until you're sure the payment is genuine. If in doubt, contact your bank.
  • Ask the buyer for proof of identity such as a passport or driving licence and ensuring that it's genuine. If you have any doubts, check with the police.
  • You should know where the Vehicle Identification Number is as the buyer might want to check this.

Documents to have when selling a vehicle

The buyer will want to see the registration document or registration certificate to check the vehicle's details. You might not be able to sell your vehicle without one. If you've lost it, you can get a replacement. See the section on Replacing a registration document for more information.

Selling the vehicle privately

When selling the vehicle privately, you should ensure the following:

  • Use a motor vehicle sale agreement that provides the seller with the written confirmation that the vehicle is bought as seen. Without it, the buyer could later claim that you had said the vehicle was in a better condition than it actually is.
  • Always keep a separate note of the buyer's name and address.
  • Tell the DVLA in Swansea of the sale of the vehicle making use of the registration document (V5 or V5NI) or registration certificate (V5C or V5CNI). See the section on Telling the DVLA if you sell a vehicle for more information.
  • If you don't have a V5 or V5NI, or a V5C or V5CNI, you can still inform the DVLA in Swansea that you no longer have the vehicle. To do this, you must write to them quoting the vehicle registration mark, make and model, exact date of sale and name and address of the new keeper. However, the DVLA records won't be complete until the new keeper also tells the DVLA in writing. Until then, the police might need to contact you if they need to enquire about the vehicle.
  • When you inform the DVLA of the sale of the vehicle your unexpired vehicle tax will automatically be refunded to you.

Selling to a motor trader

If you transfer your vehicle to a motor trader (definition of 'motor trader' can be found at the back of the registration document), you should do the following:

  • If you have a registration certificate (V5C or V5CNI), you should tell the DVLA in Swansea of the sale by sending it the V5C/3 or V5C/3NI section. Pass the rest to the trader.
  • If you have a 3-part registration document (V5 or V5NI), you should send the V5/3 or V5/3NI section to the DVLA in Swansea, and pass the rest to the trader.
  • If you have a 2-part registration document, you should send the disposal slip V5/1 or V5/1NI to the DVLA in Swansea, and pass the rest to the trader.

Vehicle mileage

You should enter the vehicle's mileage on the registration certificate to help prevent vehicle 'clocking'. This is where the vehicle's odometer (speedometer) is turned back to fraudulently reduce the number of miles that the vehicle is said to have travelled.

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