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What documents I need to sell my car?


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Have you been wondering "what documents do I need to sell my car?" If so, We Want Any Car are here to help.

Selling your car isn’t as simple as just handing over your car keys to the new owner. They'll also need to see paperwork that establishes ownership, service history and roadworthiness. The V5C certificate is the most important of these, as it establishes ownership of the car officially with the DVLA. Buyers are advised never to purchase a car without receiving this document, as their car could be taken at any time by whoever holds the certificate.

Before you hand over your car to the new buyer it's important to ensure you have all the documents ready to give to them. While some buyers won't mind if some receipts are missing, others will insist on the full service history being documented – so it is advised you prepare for the sale by gathering together all relevant documents in one place. A paper folder is a great way of keeping the documents together so you don't misplace them.

Consider photocopying all the documents in case you might need them at some later point in time – for instance if the buyer returns the vehicle but forgets to hand back the receipts, or if you need them to make an expenses claim or to establish deductions on your self-assessment tax form.


Outstanding finance

If you have finance on your car, you’ll need to pay it off prior to sale. A few car buyers, including WeWantAnyCar.com can arrange to do this after sale, but many won't, so it's typically best to deal with it yourself. If you purchased your car on hire-purchase, took out a 'logbook loan' or had any other form of financing on your vehicle, contact your lender and arrange to pay this off. It is especially important you do this right away whilst you still hold your V5C certificate (also known as a logbook). You will need to hand this over to the buyer at sale and it might take a few days for this document to be returned if used as collateral for your loan.


Proof of purchase

At the sale, both you and the new owner will want proof of purchase. Write out a simple receipt stating the key details about the car including at least the registration number, make, model and year. Many buyers will also want the VIN (chassis) number on the document so it's worthwhile finding this. The receipt should also contain both yours and the buyer's names and addresses. The date of purchase must also be included, along with the price paid for the vehicle. You'll need two copies of this receipt because both you and the buyer will want a copy.

Many buyers and sellers will want to use a sale contract. You can find sample documents online which will cover both the buyer and seller for most common sale problems. While these documents provide a lot of protection for the seller, the contract is still subject to law. Therefore, issues such as the car being un-roadworthy would override the contract, as it is illegal to sell cars that aren't suitable to drive.


Section 6 on the V5C

As well as the receipt for your own records, you'll need to notify the DVLA that the car has been sold. At the bottom of the V5C registration certificate that you'll be handing over to the new driver you'll find a slip to fill in. This is the one part of the document that you'll need to keep after the sale, as it is your responsibility to fill this in and send it back to the DVLA. The form just tells them the details of the new owner so they can update their database.


Tax Disc

From October 2014, drivers no longer need to display tax discs in their vehicles so you don’t need to worry about removing it from your car. All you need to do to get a refund is declare you have sold the vehicle. You will then be automatically issued a refund for any full months of tax outstanding on the vehicle and the new driver will have to obtain his or her own.

Once all the formalities have been done, you're ready to hand over the car and the paperwork to the buyer. This includes the V5C minus the slip, the service history including any relevant receipts or MOT certifications. It also includes documents that came with your car such as the car manual or handbook. However, don't let the buyer take copies or photos of these prior to completing the sale.

When this is done, the receipt is signed, the new buyer has the keys and you've been paid, the sale is complete - congratulations. Before you go out and buy a bottle of bubbly to celebrate, it's important to complete a few post-sale tasks. Send the slip from the bottom of the V5C to the DVLA and cancel your current car insurance. Alternatively, you can talk to your insurer about changing the insured car, but it's often cheaper to investigate new car insurance policies at this point. Premiums have fallen recently so you're likely to get a better deal by comparing insurers. Send your old tax disc from the car you just sold in for a refund. The sooner you do; the sooner the refund will arrive in your bank account.

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