Register a car: how to record change of ownership

Here’s what to do when you buy a new car and you need to record a change of ownership

Sep 10, 2018

Buying a new car is increasingly becoming a more pleasurable experience. After all, the internet has all but killed off the days of traipsing round dealerships in the cold and drinking coffee granules out of polystyrene cups.

While the buying of a car has been made quicker, more streamlined, and easier thanks to the advancement of the internet, it’s important not to forget about the basics in buying a car.

The most basic thing to remember after you’ve bought a car, is to register it. Registering a car is an essential job because it proves that you’re the rightful owner of the car.

Below, we outline how to register a car after you’ve bought it.

Is the car registered to use?

If it’s a brand-new car, the dealership will usually register it for you and you won’t need do anything. You will then get your V5C (commonly known as a logbook, although it is just a piece of paper and not actually a book) from the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) between three days and four weeks after buying the car.

If it’s a used car, it will have been previously registered, so the registration needs to switch to you.

Some dealers will do this for you. However, if you’re buying from a private buyer, or a small dealer, you’ll have to register this yourself.


How to register a car

When you buy a used car, the seller must complete section 6 (new keeper section) of the V5C form. You and the seller must then both sign the declaration in section 8 of this form.

The seller will then fill out the new keeper supplement, also known as the V5C/2 form. The seller will then give this form to you. Then, finally, the seller will send the V5C to the DVLA.

You will then receive a new V5C form (log book), stating that you are the owner of the car. This takes between three days and four weeks.

Is the car insured?

Some dealers will include driveaway insurance. This typically insures you for a week, giving you enough time to sort out your own insurance.

It’s a good idea to shop round for some quotes before buying the car though, just so you’re aware of how much money it will be to insure.

Make sure you are insured to drive a car before you drive it away from a dealership. Or if you are getting the car delivered to you, make sure it is insured before you drive it away.

Is it taxed?

If you haven’t bought a car in a while, you might be unaware of a fairly recent law change. As of 1st October 2014, it’s no longer possible to inherit any tax left on a car.

You need therefore need to purchase tax before you drive the car. You still need to ‘buy’ the tax, even if the car is tax free.

This can be done here:


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