Essential documents to sell a car:

1. Logbook – to inform the DVLA you’ve sold your car
2. Proof of reservation and purchase – two copies, one for you and one for the buyer
3. Service history – to show your car’s fully maintained and boost confidence
4. MOT certificate – to prove your car’s roadworthy
5. Insurance policy – to cancel your insurance cover
6. Car warranty – to inform the company about change in ownership
7. Car parts receipts – for the buyer to keep

Remember, don’t provide the buyer with the documents or let them take photos before the sale is complete.

1. Logbook

You need your logbook or the V5C document to inform the DVLA that you no longer the keeper of the car.

To do this, you need to fill the relevant section in the V5C registration document (Section 6 and 8 for private sales and Section 9 when selling to a motor trader, dismantler or insurer) and send it to the DVLA by post. You can also inform the DVLA online on gov.uk.

Make sure the details such as name and address are updated in the logbook before you do so.

At the same time, you need to give the green ‘new keeper’ slip to the buyer.

2. Proof of reservation and purchase

Usually, the buyers pay a deposit fee to reserve the car for themselves and arrange for the rest of the funds in the meantime.

Once the deposit fee is paid, you, as the seller, need to provide the buyer with a receipt slip that confirms they’ve paid a small amount of reservation fee.

This proof of reservation will also include details like the name of the buyer and seller, date, amount of deposit paid, registration and VIN, vehicle details, due date (if any) by which the buyer needs to pay the full amount and the buyer and seller’s signatures.

You’ll also need two copies of this receipt so that you can keep one, and the buyer can keep the other.

You’ll need a similar receipt for when the buyer pays the full amount and the deal is done as proof of purchase.

3. Service history

Providing buyers with a full service history increases their confidence in your car as it shows that your car has been well maintained over time and reconfirms the car’s mileage.

You’ll need to provide the buyer with the service book and receipts as proof.

Make sure that the garage has stamped the service book and all details are filled in such as the name and address of the garage and the date, each time you’ve got the car serviced.

You may even provide a printed copy of the online servicing log for the same.

4. MOT certificate

The MOT certificate acts as proof of your vehicle being roadworthy and meeting the environmental standards.

Although all MOT certificates issued since 2006 are available online, it’s good practice to provide the buyer with all the old certificates. It’s especially important to find the physical copies of the MOT if you’re selling an older vehicle.

If you’ve lost or damaged your MOT certificates, you can apply for a replacement on gov.uk for £10.

5. Insurance policy

Once you’ve sold your car, remember to tell your insurers that you no longer own the car so that your insurance cover can be cancelled immediately, and you’re no longer charged for it. You may be charged a cancellation fee for the same.

You may also want to show the buyer any documents pertaining to insurance claim made by you for any repairs. This will show the buyer that you’ve properly taken care of your car over the years.

6. Car warranty

If there’s any outstanding warranty on the car, you should let the company know that you have sold the car and inform the buyer of the remaining warranty period if it’s transferable, along with providing them with the warranty documents.

7. Car parts receipts
You can also provide the buyer with receipts for any car parts that you’ve got replaced.
You should keep these receipts with you carefully, especially if they act as proof of warranty.