Gaining and maintaining ownership of a car takes a lot more than simply exchanging cash and getting a receipt these days. You need signatures on many documents, paperwork sent off to the DVLA and other fees like insurance, tax and finance plans paid. You also need to prove that the vehicle’s registered keeper, so all in all, it’s quite a complex process that can be made all the more difficult if you’ve misplaced one of the most important documents of all – the V5C. Otherwise known as your vehicle’s log book, this bit of paperwork is used to register the car as your own, but what happens if you lose it? Allow us to explain.
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What Is A V5C Log Book?
Every car should have a V5C, more commonly called a log book, which contains the details of the vehicle’s current registered keeper. This person is responsible for keeping the car taxed and insured, although they’re not always the actual owner of the vehicle.
The V5C is an incredibly important document that acts as a way to pass information over to the DVLA regarding both yourself and the vehicle itself, including details like how many owners it has had throughout its lifetime and what colour it should be.
What To Do If You’ve Lost Your Log Book
Losing your log book isn’t the end of the world, but it can make transferring the car to somebody else (in other words, selling it) a little bit more complicated. The simplest way around this problem is to get another V5C sent out from the DVLA, but as you might expect, this won’t be free. You’ll need to apply for a new log book, rather than simply order a replacement V5C, with this service setting you back £25.
Can I Sell A Car Without A Log Book?
Selling a car without a log book is indeed possible, and the Gov.uk website actually now has an online service that allows you to tell the DVLA that you’re no longer the registered keeper of a vehicle, which has simplified the process.
Alternatively, you can do it the old fashioned way and address a letter to the DVLA containing the information that they’ll need to know to remove yourself as the registered keeper of the vehicle.
Either way, you’ll also need to provide the buyer of the car with the same information so that they can acquire a log book of their own and tell the DVLA that they’re the new keeper. You’ll need to give the buyer the following information:
- Vehicle make and model
- Vehicle registration
- VIN number
- Buyer’s full name
- Date of sale
- Signature of both parties
- Price and payment terms
- ‘Sold as seen’ agreement
Should I Buy A Car Without A Log Book?
Buying a car without a log book could be seen as risky, and is in fact advised against by the DVLA, but it’s technically not illegal. The real worry that lingers when buying a car without a log book is that you don’t know the history of the car that you’re enquiring about. For example, this car might be stolen and you wouldn’t even know it without the V5C to hand showing you the name and address of the true keeper of the vehicle.
Ultimately, it’s a risk but if you’re willing to take it, you could end up getting a car for a little bit cheaper than if it had all of its documentation. As a matter of fact, you could even use this lack of a log book as a bargaining chip to get yourself a lower price to pay.
The decision is entirely your own, but be aware of the risks.
How Long Does It Take To Get A Replacement Log Book?
Obtaining a new V5C log book for your car should be a swift process, with the DVLA claiming that it’ll only take 5 business days for the paperwork to be delivered to you. However, they also say that you should contact them for an update if you’ve not received yours within 2 weeks of applying for the replacement.
Worse still, if the DVLA simply fails to process or deliver your new log book within six weeks, but you haven’t contacted them to inform them of their failure, they’ll expect you to pay them another £25!
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