Who To Contact At The DVLA When Selling A Car?

When you sell a vehicle, you need to provide information to both the buyer and the DVLA. The easiest way to inform the DVLA is via the online system – and if you need any help, you can pick up the phone and give them a call. Read this handy guide to learn more about what you need to do.

Who is the DVLA?

Here’s a quick reminder: the Driver and Vehicle License Agency (DVLA) is responsible for maintaining a database of drivers in Great Britain and a database of vehicles for the whole of the UK. They hold over 48 million driver records and more than 40 million vehicle records. They also collect £6 billion every year in vehicle excise duty (VED).

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Before you sell a vehicle

First of all, you need to make sure your vehicle log book (your V5C) is up to date. This is the most critical piece of paperwork to have when selling your vehicle (although it can also be useful to have information about the service history and any other relevant documentation).

The logbook is a document that proves you are the registered owner of the vehicle, so the buyer knows you’re authorised to sell the vehicle. It shows details of the vehicle, including the make, model, colour and chassis number, as well as the past keepers of the vehicle.

You should apply to update your log book if you’ve:

  • changed your name
  • changed your address
  • made changes to your vehicle (for example, if you’ve repainted it or replaced the engine)

It’s simple to make updates to your logbook through the DVLA’s online system. But if you’d prefer to, you can do it by post – just send the log book back to them. Either way, you need to make sure it’s up to date or else you could be fined up to £1,000.

If you have a personalised number plate

If your vehicle has a personalised (private) registration number and you’d like to keep it, you have to apply to remove the registration number before you sell it. You can transfer it to another vehicle or keep it until you want to use it again.

Once you’ve sold the vehicle

You’ll need to fill out the green ‘new keeper’s details’ slip (V5C/2) and hand it to the buyer. This proves that they’re now the new owner of the vehicle. You’ll find this in the log book.

Make sure you inform the DVLA that you’ve sold the vehicle and provide the full name and the address of the buyer. The easiest way to do this is to go online – all you need to do is log onto the DVLA website and tell them that ownership has changed. Please note that you won’t be able to do this if you’ve already sent your logbook to the DVLA in the post.

What happens next?

Once you’ve informed the DVLA online, you’ll receive an email confirmation instantly. This will show you the changes that have been made. They’ll also send you a follow-up letter in the post.

How do I make a complaint?

If you’re not happy with the service you receive from the DVLA, the first step is to contact them to try and resolve your issue.

Get in touch with the department you’ve been dealing with.
You’ll need to provide your full name, address and date of birth.
Depending on your complaint, you may also need to provide your driver number, vehicle registration number, or any other number given to you by the DVLA during your correspondence.
If your problem isn’t resolved after this, you can make a formal complaint.

Make a complaint online or write to: Complaints Team, DVLA, Swansea, SA6 7JL

The DVLA aims to respond within ten working days. If they’re unable to do this for some reason, they’ll get in touch and let you know when to expect a reply.