1. View and inspect the car making sure you are satisfied with its condition and quality.
Please refer to the Inspection Checklist page for details on how to approach a self-inspection. Alternatively, you can contact us to arrange an expert Pre-Purchase Inspection

2. Carry out thorough car history checks to ensure there are no apparent issues

3. Make sure the V5C logbook is present, and the issue date matches DVLA records
We do not recommend buying vehicles without the V5C logbook

  • Ask to see the V5C vehicle registration certificate (logbook). Make sure it has a ‘DVL’ watermark, and the serial number is not between BG8229501 to BG9999030, or BI2305501 to BI2800000. If it is, the V5C might be stolen - call the police as soon as it’s safe to.
  • Make sure the details in the logbook match the details you’ve been given.
  • Check the vehicle identification number and engine number. Make sure these match the details on the logbook.

4. Agree all details of the deal including any rectification work if necessary

5. To complete the sale, fill the required paperwork depending on the seller type – private or trade. Please choose the correct option on the left.

1. Fill and print out 2 copies of Vehicle Sale Contract
(link to contract template will be added later)

2. Sign the contract by both parties

3. Update the Vehicle Log Book (V5C)

  • Complete section 6 of the V5C (‘new keeper or new name/new address details’)
  • Sign the declaration in section 8
  • Fill in section 10 of the V5C (‘new keeper supplement’) and keep it with a buyer - this section is also known as the V5C/2
  • Send the V5C to DVLA
Alternatively, the seller can do it online
  • Register the vehicle to you online
  • Fill in section 10 (‘new keeper supplement’) and give it to a buyer - this section is also known as the V5C/2
  • Destroy the rest of V5C

4. Check that the vehicle has a valid MOT certificate (Direct Link to GOV.UK service)
If the MOT has run out you only can take your vehicle to a pre-arranged MOT test appointment

5. Tax the vehicle (Direct Link to GOV.UK service)
Vehicle tax is not transferred to you upon sale. You need to tax the vehicle before driving it or declare it SORN

6. Arrange a motor insurance
Third party insurance is the legal minimum to drive your vehicle on UK roads

Before visiting a dealer or trader, it is worth searching their business name in Google and seeing the reviews section. Usually, you can find some potentially useful information to distinguish between a reputable dealer and a dubious trader.

When buying from a registered dealer or trader, you are entitled to certain rights under the Consumer Protection Act and Consumer Rights Act. Generally, they apply in the sense of a vehicle to be (i) as described, (ii) of satisfactory quality, and (iii) fit for purpose. Additionally, they commonly impose certain liabilities on trade sellers to rectify defects that might appear in the vehicle.

Some buyers interpret these as a bulletproof warranty against any breakdowns or failures and therefore recklessly approach the process of checking a vehicle they are buying. Instead, we strongly encourage all buyers to treat a purchase as if there is no comeback – this tactic is much safer in terms of the outcome. Alternatively, you would be risking to spend months or even years and thousands of pounds for legal battles with a seller and, quite possible, defend your position in court hearings with an unknown outcome.

Normally a dealer will take care of all paperwork and guide you through the buying process. However, it is reasonable always to stay vigilant and ask yourself ‘What if’ questions before committing to a purchase.