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What is a Car Logbook and What If I’ve Lost It?

If you’re thinking of selling your car, or simply transferring ownership from yourself to a member of your family, you’ll need your car logbook.

In this post we’ll explain what a car logbook is, why you need it, and let you know what steps you should take if you’ve lost your car logbook.

What is a Car Logbook?

Your logbook or V5C registration certificate is proof that you are the registered keeper of your vehicle, which means that you’re responsible for registering and taxing the vehicle.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) uses logbooks to keep track of every registered keeper of every vehicle in the UK. It’s officially known as a V5C.

Why are Car Logbooks Important?

The car logbook features all the most important information that can be used to identify you and your car:

  • The name and address of the registered keeper of the car
  • The date the car was first registered
  • The car’s manufacturer
  • The colour and engine size of the car

Every time a car changes hands, the car logbook must be filled in by both the seller and the buyer. It’s then sent to the DVLA for processing, before it’s returned to the new owner with updated registration details. This process must take place no matter who’s getting the car – whether it’s a family member, a friend, a private buyer, or a dealership.

This process used to have to be completed by hand. The buyer and the seller had to complete physical forms, and physically post them to the DVLA. Now, though, it can all be done online.

If you need to update a car’s logbook to process a change of ownership, just head to the Government’s website.

Have You Lost a Car Logbook?

If your car logbook’s been lost, stolen, damaged, or destroyed – or if you haven’t received one for a new vehicle – don’t panic! There are many ways to get a replacement.

If you’re the registered keeper of the missing or damaged logbook, you can apply by phone for a replacement. It’ll cost you £25, so make sure you have your credit or debit card ready.

If your name, address, or vehicle details have changed since you first obtained your logbook, then you cannot apply for a replacement over the phone. Instead, you’ll have to apply via post.

Can You Sell or Transfer A Car Without a Logbook?

Technically, you can. But it’s not a good idea to transfer or sell a car without a logbook.

The DVLA explicitly advises motorists to never buy a vehicle if it doesn’t have a logbook. This is because car owners may struggle to tax cars without a logbook. Also, the police may assume that a car sold or transferred without a logbook is stolen.

If you sell a car and don’t update the log book promptly you run the risk of receiving any penalties that the new owner incurs after they start driving the car.  It is also imperative that you inform your insurance company straight away when you sell a car. There’s no point paying for cover you don’t need and failure to cancel your insurance could also result in a claim against your insurance if the new owner has an accident.

Long story short – if you sell or transfer a car without a V5C logbook, you may cause no small number of headaches for the subsequent owner. You might also land yourself in some hot water with the police – they’ll want to know why you didn’t have a logbook to transfer!

The Government’s online service makes it easy to transfer logbooks, and easy to obtain a new logbook if you can’t locate your existing one. It’s so easy, that there’s really no excuse to sell or transfer your car without one!