The UK Rules
'Follow the Regulations'
Guide

New and Used Vehicles Registration Guide

Vehicle registration is a legal requirement in the United Kingdom. This guide explains the process for registering different types of vehicles and the fees involved.

REGISTERING A CAR: As a rule you must register a car, and almost all other vehicles, any time you:

In these circumstances you use specific forms for vehicle registration. You must send the filled in forms to the DVLA in Swansea. But, there are different forms to use depending on the situation.

In some cases the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency will inspect your vehicle. The purpose of a DVLA inspection is to:

Note: DVLA will inform you by letter before carrying out the free vehicle inspection. There are several different motor trade registration schemes for importers, manufacturers, and VAT-registered traders.

Registering New and Used Vehicles

All new and second hand vehicles must follow DVLA road tax rules for the United Kingdom. That means they need taxing before they get used on public roads.

How to Register a New Vehicle

Most people buy a brand new car or motorbike from a dealer. In this case the dealer will make the registration of a new vehicle for you. You can carry out new vehicle registrations yourself if the dealer declines.

It usually takes 4 to 6 weeks to get a V5C registration certificate (log book) after the application. But, you should contact the DVLA if the document does not arrive within 6 weeks.

How to Register a Used Vehicle with V5C

When the vehicle has a V5C registration certificate the seller has the legal responsibility to:

  1. Complete section 6 on the V5C. This section refers to the 'new keeper or new name/new address details'.
  2. Sign the declaration part in section 8 (the buyer must sign here too).
  3. Fill in the new details of section 10 'new keeper supplement' and give it to the buyer. This section is also called the V5C/2.
  4. Mail the completed V5C to the DVLA in Swansea.

The new owner should get a new V5C from DVLA within 4 weeks of them receiving the changed V5C from the seller. But, if it does not arrive within 4 weeks the buyer can:

How to Register a Used Vehicle without V5C

Important Information about Registeriing a Used VehicleDVLA Advice: Buying a vehicle without a registration certificate (V5C) is a risk. As a rule do not do it!

What happens if you buy a vehicle without the V5C? In this case you should register it in your name using form V62. The title of the form is 'Application for a vehicle registration certificate' and there is a fee.

Checking Registration Certificate Details

It usually takes 4 to 6 weeks to get an updated vehicle registration certificate. You must check all the details are accurate and correct. Return an incorrect certificate to DVLA after making the relevant changes. Allow another 4 weeks for them to send it back to you.

DVLA
Swansea
SA99 1BA

Also in this section...

Kit-built Vehicles: The process for registering kit-builds and kit-converted vehicle registration.
Kit-Converted Vehicles: The process for vehicle registration of kit-converts at the DVLA.
New Registrations: Information on the process to get a vehicle registered yourself at DVLA.
Old and Classic Vehicles: How to register old or classic cars that have not been taxed since 1983.
Radically Altered Vehicles: The process to register vehicles altered from their original specification.
Rebuilt Vehicles: Check out how to register a rebuilt vehicle in the United Kingdom.
Reconstructed Classics: Follow these steps to register a reconstructed classic vehicle.
Vehicle Identification Number: What is a VIN and why would DVLA issue 'Q' registration plates?

How to Register New and Used Vehicles in the United Kingdom