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How to tell the DVLA I’ve sold my car

August 02, 2021 by

Selling your car privately isn’t quite as simple as just handing over the keys, taking some cash and being done with it.

If you’ve sold your car privately, you’ll need to tell the DVLA you’ve done so, otherwise, you’re risking being held accountable for any driving offences the new owner may rack up.

Unsure how to do that? This handy guide should help. Oh, and if you want to sell your car effortlessly, tap that green button below to sell with carwow today.

How to tell the DVLA I’ve sold my car

If you have the V5C logbook for the car you’re selling, telling the DVLA it’s been sold is pretty straightforward. There are two ways to do it, as follows:


By far the easiest way to inform the DVLA you’ve sold a car is to do it through its website, which you can find here.

You’ll need to first give the green ‘new keeper’ slip to the new owner of the car, and then follow the steps on the DVLA site to tell them you no longer own the car. You’ll need the 11-digit reference number from the V5C logbook

By post

You can also write into the DVLA if you’d prefer to tell them you’ve sold your car that way. You’ll need to fill out the designated sections in the V5C logbook and post the full logbook to the DVLA at:

SA99 1BA

If you don’t have a V5C document, you still need to tell the DVLA you’ve sold the car, but you’ll need to send in:

  • Your name and address
  • The car registration number
  • The make and model of the car
  • The exact date you sold it
  • The name and address of the new owner

Failure to provide all that could result in the notification being rejected, meaning you’ll need to redo the process and it may also affect the amount of tax you’re refunded.

What if I don’t tell the DVLA I’ve sold my car?

There’s no direct penalty for failing to tell the DVLA you’ve sold your car, but it puts you at risk of being held accountable for driving offences committed by the new owner.

For a few minutes of work, it’s worth taking the time to inform them as soon as possible rather than dealing with a speeding fine you didn’t commit landing through the postbox.

How can I get a refund on road tax?

You don’t need to pursue any refunds on road tax for a car you’ve sold, the DVLA should automatically issue you this once you’ve informed them you’re no longer the keeper of a car and it’s all been processed.

It should arrive within 8 weeks, but you can contact the DVLA about it if it hasn’t.