How to deal with your cars in the event of a divorce

A divorce can be a difficult time of your life, particularly when it comes to dividing up your assets fairly.  Cars often become a point of conjecture, having been used by both members and looked upon with fond memories.

It is important that you are aware of the legal and practical issues surrounding your cars so that you can come to an amicable solution.

If you both want the car

  • The first stage is to gain a valuation of the vehicle, which can be done through ASM Auto Recycling’s free valuation service.
  • Once you have a valuation, you then need to subtract any outstanding finance which exists on the vehicle, then decide whether either of you would be prepared to part with the vehicle in return for assets in other areas of your estate.
  • For example, if the car is worth £4000, minus £1500 of outstanding finance, one party could offer £2500 in return for the vehicle.  In the event that neither party want to part with the vehicle, it could then be sold with each of your receiving £1250 of the proceeds.

If you both have a car

  • If you both own a car in your respective names, and have a 50/50 split of your assets, you will again need to obtain a valuation for both vehicles.
  • By adding the values of both vehicles together, you can see how much each party is owed from the settlement.  The owner of the cheaper car will then be owed their share of the total minus the value of their vehicle.
  • For example, if one car is worth £3000 and the other is worth £5000, the total value is £8000, with each party owed £4000 from the settlement.  The owner of the cheaper vehicle will therefore be due a further £1000 from the estate.
  • Again, if an agreement cannot be reached, you can sell both cars and split the proceeds equally.

Insurance

  • It is likely that you will share an insurance policy across your vehicles, with both being named drivers, so when you split up you must ensure that you review your policies and amend them accordingly, otherwise your insurance could be invalid.
  • Changing your address, marital status or maiden name can all have an impact on your policy, so it’s important that you let your provider know.

Registration documents

  • In the event that your car is registered in your partner’s name, but you receive it as part of the financial settlement, you will need to amend the V5C registration document.
  • To do so, your partner will need to sign the V5C to demonstrate that they are no longer the owner of the vehicle, while entering your own details as the new owner, and return the form to the DVLA.

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Selling the vehicle

In the event that you decide to sell off the vehicle, you can do so in a number of ways, including:

  • Private sale – you can place an advert in the local paper or automotive magazine, which will often give you a good price, but can be time consuming; you may also need to negotiate.
  • Dealership – if your car is in good condition and hasn’t done a huge amount of miles, you may be able to sell it to a car dealer, but be prepared to sacrifice some of the sale price here for a quick sale.
  • Scrap and recycling – for a really quick sale and competitive price, or if the car is damaged or unrepairable, ASM Auto Recycling can take the car off your hands, hassle-free.