How to tell the DVLA I’ve sold my car

February 29, 2024 by

Wondering how to tell the DVLA you’ve sold your car? This guide explains…

There are a number of reasons why you might need to tell the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) that you no longer have a car, and each requires a different approach. We’ve compiled a separate guide for telling the DVLA you’ve scrapped your car, for example.

This article will focus on how to tell the DVLA you have sold your car, either to a dealer or another private individual.

Notifying the DVLA you’ve sold a car is important, as if a car you no longer own remains registered to you, you could find yourself receiving speeding and parking tickets, or all other manner of penalties, including fines for not paying road tax. While these scenarios can often be remedied by contacting the DVLA after the fact, it’s by far and away best to be pre-emptive and tell the organisation as soon as a car is sold.


The easiest way to tell the DVLA you’ve sold a car to a dealer is to use its dedicated online service, and select the ‘sold it to a motor trader’ option. You will be instructed to give the V5C to the trader, then enter the trader’s name and postcode into the online tool – you should then be able to select the dealer’s address from a drop-down menu.

Next, enter the car’s registration and its V5C document reference number  – there’s a help tool to show you where to find this. You will then need to tick to confirm that you understand you will lose any rights to the car’s registration number.

A car’s V5C is an important document

Next, provide the date the car was sold on, entering your email address so you can receive confirmation that the DVLA has received your notification.

That should be all there is to the matter –  you will automatically receive a cheque in the post for any road tax refund within six weeks (though it is often much quicker than this).

The dealer can also tell the DVLA you have sold the car if you give them permission to do so.

By post

You are obviously reading this guide online, which would make the decision to notify the DVLA by post that you have sold a car unusual as this is slower and less convenient– nonetheless, if you wish to do so, complete Section 9 of the V5C – this is titled ‘selling or transferring your vehicle to a motor trader, insurer or dismantler’, removing this section from the V5C and posting it to the DVLA, at:

SA99 1BA

Telling the DVLA you’ve sold your car to a private individual

The process for telling the DVLA you’ve sold a car privately is much the same as if you have sold to a trader: you give the buyer the green ‘new keeper supplement’ section from the car’s V5C, before using the same handy online tool and provide much the same information (IE the V5C document number and the car’s registration) – though you are also instructed to destroy the rest of the V5C logbook when you are done.

The process for doing this via post is similar to the one outlined above.

What if I’ve sold my car abroad?

All of the above applies to cars transferred to dealers and/or new keepers in the UK, but there’s a different process for transferring ownership to overseas parties. You can only do this by post, and you need to fill in the ‘permanent export’ section of the vehicle logbook and send it to the following address:

SA99 1BD

You’ll also need to include a letter with the buyer’s name and address and give the remaining part of your V5C to the new owner, so they can register the car in its new country.

What if I don’t have my car’s V5C?

While it isn’t illegal to sell a car without a V5C, it’s a brave person who buys such a vehicle, so in almost all circumstances you should procure a replacement V5C for the car before trying to sell it.

But if you have managed to sell a car without a V5C, write to the DVLA providing:

  • 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 information could result in the notification being rejected, meaning you’ll need to redo the process.

What to do after you’ve told the DVLA you’ve sold your car

The first thing to do is to tell your insurance company – there’s no point paying to cover a car that is no longer yours, and you could well be due a car insurance refund.

Speaking of refunds, you will also be due money back on any complete months of road tax you have paid in advance for. This should automatically happen when you sell your car, but we also have a separate guide on how to get a car tax refund if you’d like to know more.

Oh, and don’t forget to cancel your vehicle tracker subscription if you had one of these.

Change cars online with carwow

Looking for an easy way to change your car? Then carwow is the place to go. You can sell your old car for a great price, and get the best deals on a new one. All through our network of trusted dealers and all from the comfort of your home. Tap the button below to get started today.