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Can I sell my car without the log book?

  Monday, 18 September 2023

Yes, you can sell a car without a log book, or V5C document. But it will be harder to do so without proof of ownership, and you might have to lower the price. It is easy to apply for a replacement log book, and reassure anyone buying the car that you are the registered owner.

Sample V5C log book

If you are planning on selling your car, but you’ve realised you don’t have your log book, you might be concerned that it’s not possible to transfer ownership of your vehicle without it.

It’s important to be mindful of the fact that the UK government warns buyers against buying vehicles without log books. That’s because it makes it more difficult for buyers to tax and insure their new vehicle without it.

What is a log book and why do you need one?

A vehicle log book is also known as a V5C document. It is a registration document that proves you are the registered keeper of the vehicle. It will display your full name and address that can be used for any correspondence connected to the vehicle. Bear in mind this address does not need to be where the vehicle is stored.

The V5C form outlines all of the key information about your vehicle; all of which is stored by the DVLA within its database. This will include the colour and make of your vehicle, registration plate number, the size of its engine and even its chassis number. It will also detail how many other registered keepers the vehicle has had in the past.

It might surprise you that log books are still very much paper-based. While driving licences and vehicle tax (VED) have now been digitised, V5C documents are still created in the traditional method.

There have been some technological advancements in recent years, however. It is now possible to change details such as the owner’s name and the registered address by using www.gov.uk.

Do you need the V5 document to sell a car?

Fortunately, all is not lost if you have lost your vehicle log book. You can sell your car without a V5C document; the process is just more complicated.

The biggest issue sellers without log books find is that prospective buyers are often put off by the lack of a log book. They become suspicious, probably quite naturally, about the ownership of the car. They might think it has been stolen, as over 100,000 cars every year in the UK are. Or that the vehicle has not been well cared for. It will certainly be harder to sell a car without a log book than with one.

Checking a car’s documentation is one of the key things a buyer should do before they buy a second hand car. Without a log book the new owner will not be able to insure the vehicle.

Sellers without a V5C document should always be open and up front about this to reassure potential buyers. Of course, there are other precautions you can take to make it as easy as possible for buyers to apply for a new log book down the line. A bill of sale is arguably the most beneficial course of action.

The importance of creating a bill of sale

It’s vital that you cover all bases when you plan to sell a vehicle without a log book. Essentially, a bill of sale document will give your prospective buyer all the information they need to apply for a new log book using a V62 form. It’s also written proof that the buyer has accepted the terms of the sale and the condition of the vehicle.

If you want to create a fit and proper bill of sale that gives protection for you and prospective buyers, you’ll need to include the following:

  • Vehicle registration number
  • Mileage (at the point of sale)
  • Make and model of the vehicle
  • VIN plate number
  • Date of sale
  • Buyer’s full name and address
  • Your signature
  • Buyer’s signature

Even if you don’t prepare a bill of sale, you will have to inform the DVLA that you are selling your vehicle without a log book.

Can you get a replacement V5C document?

If you don’t want to have to create a bill of sale, you can always decide to apply for a replacement log book before you sell the vehicle.

You’ll need to reapply for the document with the DVLA. If none of the details have changed, you can do this online. Alternatively you can apply for a new V5C by phone or post from the DVLA using a completed V62 form. If any of the details about the car’s ownership have changed, you will have to complete a V62 form.

V62 forms are available from www.gov.uk and some post offices. If you choose to sell the vehicle without a log book, your prospective buyer won’t be able to apply for a new V5C document. The DVLA only accepts applications from the registered keeper on the original log book.

A replacement V5C document costs £25, which can be paid by credit or debit card via the website or over the phone. If you are leaving it up to your buyer to apply for a replacement log book, you could always take the cost of the new V5C document off the sale price of the vehicle as a gesture of goodwill.

Replacement log books often arrive within five working days for online and phone applications. However, those made via post using a V62 form can take up to six weeks to be processed.

Can I scrap my car without a log book?

Yes, it is legal to scrap your car without a log book. But the scrap yard must be registered as an Authorised Treatment Facility, and you should never pay cash to scrap your car. You should also inform the DVLA that your vehicle has been scrapped.

Sell your car to ASM Auto Recycling with or without your log book

At ASM Auto Recycling, we’ll buy any vehicle in any condition. This means that even if it’s a non-runner, an MOT failure or a car without a log book, we’ll pay you a fair price for your vehicle.

If the seller doesn’t have the log book, we require photo ID that shows the seller’s address. The seller will also be asked to sign a document which gives consent to pass title of ownership across to ASM.

Get an instant valuation for your car without a log book today, complete with a price guarantee. Providing your vehicle is correctly described, we’ll pay what we say.

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