How to Transfer Car Ownership to a Family Member

So your son or daughter has just passed their driving test. Fantastic! Rather than buying them a brand new car, you want to give them your old car. This is a sensible idea – nobody knows the car’s history better than you. You know it can be depended on, and you already have access to its service history.

So how do you transfer car ownership to a family member? It’s a relatively simple process, but it’s a little more complicated than simply handing the keys over…

How to Transfer Car Ownership to a Family Member

Transferring ownership of your car is much like selling it and consists of three main steps:

  1. Notify the DVLA – either online or offline
  2. Tax your vehicle
  3. Update your insurance

The main thing you have to remember is this: The DVLA needs to know exactly who’s driving every single car on the road. So if you’re transferring ownership of your car to a family member, you’ll have to let the DVLA know that the car has a new keeper.

You can transfer car ownership either offline or online. Some of the forms and websites you visit might be worded in such a way to suggest that you’re selling your car. You’re not, of course, but don’t let this confuse you – it’s just that the process for transferring ownership to a family member is largely identical to the process of selling your car to a dealer or a private buyer. The only real difference is that no money may change hands in your case.

Transferring Car Ownership to a Family Member – Online

Use the online form on the DVLA website. It’ll guide you through a series of questions, and it shouldn’t take you too long to complete the process.

You’ll need the 11 digit reference number from your car’s logbook – also known as a V5C registration document. If you can’t find your logbook, you can order a new one here. You’ll also need to record the details of the family member that’s getting the car, even if they live at the same address as you. For the DVLA, what’s really important is the name of the person responsible for keeping the car.

Once you’ve completed the process, you’ll get a confirmation email that’ll let you know that the transfer’s been a success. Your son or daughter will get an email too, along with a new V5C in the post that should arrive within five working days.

Transferring Car Ownership to a Family Member – Offline

You can also transfer ownership offline. All you have to do is complete sections 6 and 8 of your V5C document and send it to the DVLA in the post.

Section 6 is “New Keeper or New Name/New Address Details”. You just need to record your son or daughter’s name and address here – and once again, you still need to do this even if they live in the same house as you. Section 8 is simply a declaration for you and your relative to sign.

Once you’ve signed, tear off the entire left hand page, which is perforated for your convenience, and post it to the DVLA. You’ll have to pay for a stamp and envelope, but this is the only expense to worry about when transferring ownership of a car.

Tax the vehicle straight away

Now that car tax is no longer a paper disk, it doesn’t transfer to new owners. So make sure you update the tax on the car straight away – you can do this via the Government’s Tax your vehicle tool.

You’ll just need the green ‘new keeper’ slip from your logbook.

One Last Thing! The new driver will need insurance

Once you have your confirmation and your new V5C, it’s official – your son or daughter is the new owner of your car.

But there’s still one last thing to get sorted – car insurance. You’ll already have a good idea of how much the car costs to insure. But as a new driver, your son or daughter will likely have to pay a higher premium than you. This is only because insurers consider inexperienced drivers to be high-risk drivers, which is reflected in the insurance they pay. But there are ways that even new drivers and young drivers can get cheaper car insurance. Read our guide to getting the insurance you need for less here.


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