Paperwork for selling your car

Get the right documents ready

You will need to collate and produce several documents to sell your car. Additionally, once you've sold your vehicle, you will need to complete some essential, legal paperwork. Also, don't forget to update your car insurance, whether it needs cancelled or transferred to your new vehicle.

What Documents do I Need to Sell My Car

"An annual MOT is required on cars more than three years old. A seller should be able to produce these certificates." - Jason Pritchard

"Organise your documents into a file. The V5C log book, complete with the V5C/2 slip with 'new keeper's details', which is sent to the DVLA. The MOT is registered online, however, the paper version should be given to the buyer as it costs £10 to replace.

If there are any warranties relating to the vehicle, or parts fitted to it, these should be passed on and the companies informed that there is a new keeper." - James Ruppert

You will need the following items:

  • Vehicle registration certificate (aka the V5C or vehicle log book)
  • MOT certificate(s), if your car is over 3 years old. You can check your car's MOT history with this GOV.UK search tool
  • Full service history and past receipts
  • Warranty documents
  • The car's handbook
  • Car keys and duplicate sets.

While some of these documents are inessential, they can add value to the sale of your car. If you cannot find any of these documents, try to get them replaced. For example, you can collect a replacement MOT certificate from any MOT testing station - just take your V5C with you as ID. You can also get a replacement V5C certificate from the DVLA (Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency) by phone, or fill in an application for a log book (V62) form and send by post.

Selling car privately - extra paperwork needs

Private car sales require you to provide the buyer with a 'sold as seen, tried and approved without guarantee' bill of sale. Treat this receipt as a formal contract between you and the buyer.

Create two copies - one for yourself and one for the buyer - and complete both in the buyer's presence. Include as many details about the car as you can. Remember, your car must match any descriptions you give verbally and in writing throughout the course of the sale.

Do I need a log book to sell my car?

While it is possible to sell a vehicle without the V5C (log book), the DVLA advises motorists not to purchase a car without one. Buyers will be suspicious of any car that doesn't come with this essential document.

Selling a car with private plate

If you wish to keep your private plate, you will need to apply for 'retention', either online or by post, before you sell the car. A private plate sold with a car is considered part of the sale.

Selling a car with no MOT

It is possible to sell a car with no MOT:

"If your car's MOT has expired, then it must be stored off the public highway by law. When advertising the car, you must make it clear your car does not have a valid MOT and cannot be test driven. Also, any potential buyer will need to bring a trailer if they expect to take it away. Alternatively, they would need to book a test at the nearest local MOT station to take it away." - James Ruppert

Some online car buying sites may purchase such cars, but they'll likely want a reduced price.