Buying a car without a logbook

Buying a car without a logbook

Is it safe to buy a car without a logbook?

Buying a car without a logbook, or V5C registration document, has always been a risky business. Although this is about to change as you can now apply for a logbook online it is still important to understand the implications of buying a car without a logbook. Read on to find out more.

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Genuine seller or dodgy dealer?

Sometimes the registered keeper may have validly lost or misplaced the logbook, but there have been cases where vehicles have been sold without logbooks that the buyer has gone on to learn the vehicle is stolen or scrapped. 

The registered keeper may have also taken what is called a “logbook loan”, which is where the seller has used the vehicle’s V5C document as security against a loan.

The excuse typically used by the seller is that they haven’t had time to apply for a replacement log book / V5c registration certificate, which can take around 6 weeks.

New DVLA online logbook service

The DVLA recently announced that along with informing them you have sold a vehicle, you can now also apply for a new v5c – replacement V5C online. This new digital process means anyone who validly owns the vehicle can now have a replacement log book within 5 days.

How does this change buying a vehicle without a logbook?

Here at Car Guide, we believe this will go a long way to ensure that it is much harder to sell stolen and scrapped vehicles and recommend used car buyers to take the following steps.

If you find a car for sale without a V5C document, before you do anything else, carry out a vehicle history check to check there is nothing dodgy about the car that could cause you problems in the near future. You should then ask the seller/registered keeper to apply for the replacement log-book online so that you don’t have to buy a car without a logbook.

The seller will then have to pay £25 and can pay by credit or debit card. The new DVLA duplicate log book service can be accessed here.

Before they start the process they will require:

  • Vehicle registration number (VRM) 
  • VIN/chassis number of the vehicle
  • Surname and Postcode registered on the log book

For security purposes and to ensure the seller owns the vehicle, if they fail to enter the correct information, the DVLA will refuse to issue a new logbook.  

Leaving a deposit

The seller may ask for a holding deposit. This is fine but we don’t recommend paying more than £100 as a deposit and always ask for a receipt.

Before leaving a deposit, we strongly recommend you ask the seller to complete the online replacement logbook process whilst you are present. Alternatively, ask for a printed receipt they will have been provided by the DVLA.

Be aware that you will have difficulty taxing a car without a logbook, which you need to do before driving it away.

Remember, it doesn’t matter how trustworthy the seller looks, it is always a good idea to carry out a vehicle history check to ensure there are no hidden surprises. Car Guide offers the most comprehensive history check via our buyers report for a small fee. 

With our buyers report you will find out any risk markers such outstanding finance, number of previous owners, whether the vehicle has been stolen/scrapped plus the full MOT history, any mileage discrepancies and upcoming service & repairs costs. It will show you what the service history should look like so you can check that against the actual service history too.

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Frequently Asked Questions

The advice from DVLA is that you should never buy a car without V5C (log book) as it can be stolen, written off, have outstanding finance on it or the seller might not be allowed legally to sell the vehicle. This is where Car Guide can help you mitigate some of the risks mentioned above. Read more here.

If you buy a car without a log book (V5C) you might not be able to tax it. You will need to apply for a V5C logbook using V62 application. Read more here.

If you bought a vehicle without a V5C, you will need to apply for V5C (logbook) using a V62 application which may take up to 6 weeks and costs around £25. Only once you received V5C you will be able to tax the vehicle. Read more here.

Also known as V5C, a vehicle logbook is a document required by the DVLA which tracks registration history of a vehicle. In addition, in contains the vehicle key information such as: make, model, VRM, colour, engine, chassis (VIN) number. Read our guide here on why you shouldn’t buy a car without a logbook.

The new owner will need to submit V62 application which may take up to 6 weeks and costs £25. You will need. Read our guide here to find out how to apply and what you need.

There isn’t one. Logbook, also known as V5C is a document that tracks vehicle’s registration history and contains summary information about hat vehicle. Read our guide here on what to do in case you bought a car without one.

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