Can I Sell My Car Without V5: The Ultimate Guide

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Can I Sell My Car Without V5: The Ultimate Guide

Last updated on: April 3, 2024

So, you’re considering selling your car and probably wondering, “Can I sell my car without V5?” Well, guess what?

The answer is yes, you can!

But here’s the thing – it’s not as straightforward as it might seem. That’s why we’ve compiled this quick guide to help you understand the steps involved in selling a car without V5 and how to do it safely.

Let’s get started!

What is V5, V5C or Logbook?

The V5, officially known as the V5C or Vehicle Log Book, is an essential document issued by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) in the United Kingdom.

It’s a record of who the registered keeper of a vehicle is, not necessarily the legal owner. This document contains vital information about the vehicle, including:

  • Vehicle Make and model
  • The date it was first registered
  • Engine size
  • Colour
  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
  • Number of previous registered keepers
  • CO2 Emissions Rating
  • Taxation band of the vehicle

Crucially, the V5C is needed to sell, part-exchange, or scrap your vehicle, making it an important document to keep safe and up-to-date.

Why Is V5 Important?

The V5C is crucial for several reasons. Firstly, it acts as proof of registration, confirming that you, the seller, have the right to sell the vehicle.

It also provides assurance to the buyer about the legitimacy of the sale. Furthermore, the V5C document is needed to update the vehicle’s records with DVLA when ownership changes.

If the document is missing, it could raise suspicions about the car’s history, potentially deterring potential buyers.

Thus, while selling your car without the V5C is technically possible, it significantly complicates the process and may negatively impact the buyer’s confidence in the transaction.

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How Can You Obtain V5?

If the original logbook (V5C) has been lost, stolen, damaged, or destroyed, you’ll need to obtain a new one. Fortunately, the process to replace it is relatively straightforward.

If the details in the V5C do not need to be updated, you can request a duplicate V5C online or by phone.

The new document will then be posted to the address that the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has on record.

However, if anything in the V5C needs to change, such as your name or address or vehicle details. In that case, you’ll need to follow a different process. This also applies if you’ve bought, sold, or transferred a vehicle or if you did not receive a V5C with your new vehicle.

Remember, it’s essential to keep the DVLA updated with accurate records to ensure the smooth sale or transfer of vehicles in the future.

Note: To apply online, it is necessary to be the registered keeper, as stated on the V5C document.

Click here to apply for a duplicate log book (V5C)

When is the DVLA’s V5C Replacement Service Inapplicable?

It’s important to note that there are specific situations where the DVLA’s V5C replacement service cannot be utilised. Let’s take a look at the five main exceptions:

Need to Change Details: If any of your personal details or the vehicle’s details need to be updated or changed, you cannot use this service. In such scenarios, you must directly contact the DVLA.

Vehicle Not in Possession: If the vehicle is not currently in your possession, this service cannot be used.

Already Sent V5C to DVLA: If you’ve already submitted your V5C to the DVLA for changes to be made, you cannot use this service in the interim.

Vehicle Registered as Part of DVLA Fleet Scheme: Vehicles registered as part of the DVLA fleet scheme are ineligible for this service.

Vehicles Registered Abroad: This service is unavailable for vehicles registered outside the UK, including the Channel Islands (Jersey and Guernsey), Isle of Man, or Ireland. If your vehicle falls into this category, you will need to follow the necessary processes in your vehicle’s country of registration.

Please remember these points before attempting to use this service to acquire a V5C document.

What is the Cost of Obtaining a New V5C?

The service to request a new V5C usually costs £25. This fee can be paid by either a credit or a debit card. It’s important to note that once you have used the service, you cannot get a refund. This applies even if you subsequently locate your original V5C document.

So, it’s beneficial to make absolutely sure that your V5C is indeed lost or unavailable before you proceed with the request for a new one.

Is It Illegal to Sell Car Without V5?

is it legal to sell car without v5

While selling a car without a V5C, or vehicle logbook, is not technically illegal, it’s certainly not advised.

The V5C is more than just a piece of paper – it’s a crucial document that verifies you are the registered keeper and have the legal right to sell the vehicle in question.

If you attempt to sell a car without this document, potential buyers may raise questions about the vehicle’s legitimacy and history. They may fear that the car is stolen or has outstanding finance, which could deter them from finalising the purchase.

So, while it’s possible to sell a car without a V5C, it’s strongly recommended to secure a replacement from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) before proceeding with the sale.

This simple step can help maintain buyer confidence and smooth out the selling process.

Related: Sell My Car: DVLA Complete Guide for Car Selling

How to Sell a Car Without V5 or V5C?


If you find yourself in a situation where you need to sell a car without a V5C, you can still proceed, but there are some vital steps to follow:

Step 1 – Be Transparent

When you list your car for sale, be upfront about the fact that it does not have a V5C. This openness will prevent potential buyers from being taken by surprise later in the process and wasting both your time and theirs.

Step 2 – Prove That You Own The Car

You will need to prove that you are the legitimate owner of the vehicle. This can be done by providing any existing documentation, such as previous versions of the V5C, purchase receipts, insurance documents or any other relevant paperwork.

Step 3 – Draft a Written Agreement

When the car is sold, it’s highly advised to have a written agreement that includes both parties’ signatures and the vehicle’s details. This document should include details such as the make and model of the car, vehicle identification number (VIN), terms of the sale, and a statement that the vehicle belongs to you. You can use this in case of any disputes or misunderstandings.

Step 4 – Get a Vehicle History Check

Get a professional vehicle history check done in order to provide valid information about the car to potential buyers. This will help build trust and show that you are not hiding any potential issues. You can conduct a vehicle check online or through companies such as HPI Check or AA Vehicle History. 

Step 5 – Notify DVLA of the Sale

Once the vehicle is sold, you’ll need to inform the DVLA of the sale in writing. This can be done online using the Government’s official service. To do this, you’ll need specific details, including:

  • Your name and address
  • The vehicle registration number
  • The make and model
  • The exact date of sale
  • The name and address of the new keeper

Changing Car Ownership with Document Reference Number

If you happen to know the document reference number from your V5C—perhaps you wrote it down previously or took a photo of the document before it was lost or misplaced—you can transfer the registration of the vehicle using this number. This process could help you avoid waiting for a new log book. However, this approach will likely only work with a dealer who knows and trusts you.

Private buyers may hesitate to purchase a car based solely on a reference number. Therefore, it’s critical that you never share details from or images of your V5C on social media.

By following these steps, selling a car without a V5C logbook can still be a streamlined and successful process.

Final Words

It is possible to legally sell a car without the V5, but it’s much easier and safer for both parties if the necessary paperwork is in place. If you do lose your V5 document, apply for a replacement sooner rather than later. This will help ensure that any potential buyer won’t be deterred by its absence and can understand the vehicle’s history with confidence.

By following this guide and taking the necessary steps, you can complete the sale of a car without a V5C document without any issues. 

If you’re looking for more car tips and advice, head over to our article page for an extensive range of articles on a variety of topics related to car ownership.

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