​How to transfer ownership of a van or commercial vehicle in the UK

If you’ve sold a van, there are still a few things to do after you’ve hand over the keys. The new owner isn’t officially the vehicles owner until the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) have been informed. So how do you do that?

All UK vehicles are issued a Vehicle Registration Certificate which is also known by its official document number V5C. With some people still referring to it as logbook. The latest examples are red, blue and pink in colour, having taken over from the previous blue, green and cream style.

The V5C is created by the DVLA when a van is first registered. The keeper of a vehicle is the person legally responsible for it. But the named keepers on the registration certificate isn’t necessarily the vehicle’s owner. Essentially the keeper of a vehicle is the person legally responsible for it. If a car has outstanding finance owed on it, the car is technically the property of the finance house or bank. This is why carrying a HPI check on a vehicle before purchasing is so important.

Transferring a vans ownership

When selling a van you should inform the DVLA of a change of keeper, and that should be done as soon as possible. As in the event of a motoring law being broken its the registered keeper who will received any speeding fines or parking tickets. 

Section 6 of the V5C is left blank, ready for the new owners details, address and date of sale, mileage and driving license number. I advice all parts are completed in full. 

Section 6 can also be used to indicate a change of the registered keeper’s name or address. So it’s important that the changes keeper box is ticked. After completing section 6, section 8 must be signed and dated by both parties.Sections 6 and 8 on the same page.

All thats left is for you to tear-off at the bottom of the V5C registration document and send it to the DVLA.

Section 10 of the V5C registration certificate can then be given to the new owner. This exists to provide a new keeper with temporary documentation before a new V5C is issued in their name. Legally this is called a V5C/2.

There’s also space into which the new keeper’s name and address, and the date of sale or transfer can be entered. These should be the same details as entered into section 6.

​The sections are perforated allowing for the sections to be separated, sections 9, 11 and 12 can be discarded.

Taxing a van

Section 10 of the V5C or V5C/2 can be used to apply for road tax, which the new keeper will need to do before using the car on the road.

Obtaining a replacement V5C document

If you have yet to receive a V5C in your name as the new keeper of a van, and have lost your V5C/2 and need to apply for road tax, or if you’ve already flipped the car mislaid the V5C document, a replacement can be obtained by completing a V62 form. You will need to complete all five sections, including section 3 to indicate why you require a replacement V5C.

Selling or transferring your vehicle to another motor trader

If you are trading a van to another motor trader or scrapyard, you will need to fill in section 9, separate it from the rest of the V5C and send it to the DVLA at the address above. Again the rest of the V5C is given to the trader or scrapyard.

Permanently exporting a van or light commercial vehicle

Section 11 of the V5C is concerned with permanently exporting a vehicle, so that it no longer appears on UK roads. It requires only that the date of export is entered, and a declaration signed. This section must then be removed and sent to the DVLA at the address above.

The rest of the V5C is given to the exporter, who will need to use it in the country to which it is being exported.​

Receipt and invoice

With the V5C not constituting legal entitlement to the vehicle. You must also supply a signed receipt or invoice made out in the name of both yourself and the new keeper. Which together with section 10 will help prove entitlement to the vehicle owner if any legal problems arise. 

The receipt or invoice should also include the following :

1.  The date
2.  Price
3.  Make and model
4. Registration number
5. Vin number
6. The names and addresses of the buyer and seller

Make two copies – one for you and one for the buyer – and make sure all parties sign both.

Conclusion

The paperwork may be the most boring part of van flipping. But with the V5C being an important legal document it’s a really important part to get right. You also need to get the invoice correct as this can help you massively if you happened to find yourself in court at any point.