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Home > Environment > Abandoned and Nuisance Vehicles > What should I do if I sell my car?

What should I do if I sell my car?

If you are registered as the keeper of a car with DVLA you can be held liable for any costs it incurs – even if it has since been sold on and then dumped. 

When a vehicle is reported as abandoned, the council makes every effort to trace its owner using a direct link with the DVLA database. The database shows whether a car is taxed, has a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) or is registered as already destroyed. Most importantly the database also holds the registered keepers details.  

Removing and destroying abandoned vehicles is very expensive and where there is no registered keeper the costs are met by the taxpayer - money that could be better spent on more important services in your community. Therefore the council will always seek to charge the registered keeper for the removal and disposal of a vehicle. This could be someone who has sold the vehicle on – only to become a victim of car crime for a car no longer in his or her possession. 

Follow these simple guidelines to avoid becoming an innocent victim:

  • When you sell your car, make sure you have completed the V5C registration document (logbook) and send it to the DVLA. It is your responsibility, as the seller, to do this. Once your document has reached the DVLA they will write to you to confirm that you are no longer the registered keeper. Never let the buyer send the V5C to the DVLA.
  • Never give your car away – even if it’s just for parts – without filling in the V5C and sending it to the DVLA.
  • If you scrap your car, make sure you use an Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF) to do so - and keep the Certificate of Destruction they give you.
  • Make sure your vehicles road tax is always up to date.
  • If you have cause to SORN your vehicle, make sure it is parked off-road on private land where you have permission to park it otherwise it could still be removed.