How to sell your car without a V5C logbook

Last updated November 8th, 2022

Whilst it is perfectly legal to sell your car without a V5C logbook, a missing V5C could deter many potential buyers – and may also devalue the vehicle.

The DVLA advise against purchasing a vehicle without a valid logbook, as this may indicate the vehicle has been stolen, given that stolen vehicles are unlikely to be sold with a V5C document. This is a valid concern; Home Office statistics reveal that in 2021 alone, there were 101,198 vehicles stolen in England and Wales .

Therefore, the lack of a V5C will often raise suspicion among buyers, potentially making the vehicle more difficult to sell.

In this guide, we will cover the documents you’ll need to sell your vehicle without a V5C, how and when to use your new keeper slip, logbook loans - and how they affect your selling rights.

We’ll also explain some of the common challenges around selling or buying without a V5C – and the application processes for getting a replacement logbook.

Value your car in under 30 seconds

What is a V5C?

A V5C, also known as a logbook is a document about your car that includes information such as the registration plate, the make and model, colour, engine size and details on the previous owners.

The logbook is a booklet of perforated pages that are removed and sent off under different circumstances, such as if you have sold the vehicle to trade, dismantler, or insurer. According to the DVLA, a V5C document can’t be used as proof of ownership and instead indicates who is responsible for registering and taxing the vehicle.

Whilst most other car documents are now online, the logbook has remained in paper form. However, it is now possible to change details such as the owner’s name and the registered address using the gov.uk website.

Before this service was introduced, the only way to update these details was to complete the relevant section of your V5C document by hand, tear off the page and post it to the DVLA.

Illustration of a V5C Document

Can I sell my car without a V5C?

You can sell your car without a V5C, although this can be more difficult. Many viewers and dealers won’t buy a car without a V5C - or may reduce their offer. If you sell your car without a V5C, you’ll still need to inform the DLVA in writing.

Most private dealers and car buying services will not buy cars without a V5C. Here at webuyanycar, we cannot purchase your car if you do not have a valid V5C logbook. However, if you replace your missing logbook, we will be happy to purchase your car.

To find out how much your car could be worth, use our car valuation tool to get a free estimate in 30 seconds or less!

How do you sell your car without a V5C logbook?

You must provide a ‘bill of sale’ containing the following details:

  • The car’s make, model and registration number.
  • VIN plate number.
  • The buyer’s full name.
  • The price and payment terms.
  • Confirmation that the vehicle is ‘sold as seen’.
  • Signatures from the buyer and seller - and the date of sale.

The new owner will require all this information to apply for a new logbook for the vehicle.

What is a ‘new keeper’ slip – and why might I need one to sell my car?

A V5C, also known as a logbook is a document about your car that includes information such as the registration plate, the make and model, colour, engine size and details on the previous owners.

A ‘new keeper’ slip is a section within the V5C logbook that a seller should give to the car’s new owner at the point of sale. The new owner will need this slip to tax the vehicle. You should not hand over the logbook or its ‘new keeper’ slip until you have completed the sale of your car.

V5Cs and logbook loans

A logbook loan is a credit agreement, which allows you to transfer ownership of your car as collateral for a loan. You can typically borrow up to 70% of your vehicle’s trade value from a logbook loan lender.

As part of the loan agreement, you will usually give the lender your V5C logbook, in addition to signing a credit agreement and a bill of sale, until you have paid off the loan. You can continue to use the vehicle, so long as you meet the loan’s repayments. However, you cannot sell it, as you do not own the vehicle until you have paid off the outstanding debt.

Do I need my V5 to scrap my car?

It is legal to scrap your car without a V5. However, you must scrap it at an Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF), pay by cheque or bank transfer (in England and Wales) and then, notify the DVLA that the vehicle has been scrapped.

What should I do if I’ve lost my V5 and want to sell my car?

Although as we’ve mentioned, it is possible to sell your car without a V5, this can make the process more difficult. Therefore, we would advise applying to the DVLA for a replacement logbook. There are two ways to apply for a replacement V5C - and the correct method will depend on your circumstances:

If your details have not changed

If you need a replacement logbook, but don’t need to change any details, you can apply for one online via the gov.uk website – or by telephone. You’ll need to supply the following details:

  • The vehicle’s registration number.
  • VIN/chassis number.
  • The name and postcode registered on the missing V5C.

The fee for this service is £25 - and you can make by payment by credit or debit card.

If your details have changed

If you need to update any details in your replacement logbook, you will need to apply for a V62 form by post.

Firstly, download and complete a copy of form V62 from the DVLA website. The fee for this service is £25, which must be made payable to ‘DVLA, Swansea’. Send your completed form by post, together with a cheque or postal order to the following address:

DVLA

Swansea

SA99 1 DD

You should contact the DVLA if you have not received your replacement logbook within four weeks of applying by post. If, after 6 weeks, you have not received your logbook (and have not notified the DVLA), you will have to pay an additional £25 for a replacement.

Other Frequently Asked Questions

It is unlikely that you will get in trouble after selling your car without a V5, if you manage to find a buyer. However, if you (or the buyer) fail to update the details of the registered keeper, you will still be liable to pay vehicle tax.

Yes, you should inform the DVLA of the sale, even if you did not have a V5. To do this, write to DVLA, explaining that you have sold the vehicle and include details of the vehicle’s registration number, make and model, the date of the sale – and the new keeper’s name and address.

Post the letter to the following address:

DVLA

Swansea

SA99 1AR

Allow up to 4 weeks for your discharge of ownership and confirmation letters. If you have not received them after this time, you should contact the DVLA.

The DVLA advises against buying a car without a V5 logbook. Without a V5, it is difficult to determine whether the vehicle has been stolen, written off, has outstanding finance – or whether the seller is entitled to sell it.

If you buy a car that turns out to be stolen, you may have to pay the original owner to keep it – and, if it has outstanding finance, you will need to continue the payments.

Check the logbook and make sure that the ‘DVL’ watermark is present. The serial number should not be between BG8229501 to BG9999030, or BI2305501 to BI2800000. If it is, the logbook may have been stolen.

If you have lost your V5 logbook and need to change the registered keeper’s address, you’ll need to apply for a new one by post. Complete a V62 and post it with a cheque or postal order for £25 (payable to ‘DVLA Swansea’) to: DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1AR.

If you have bought a vehicle without a V5C, you may not be able to tax it. Therefore, you will need to apply to the DVLA for a replacement logbook using a V62 application, which can take up to 6 weeks – and costs £25.

Related articles