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Documentation you Should Have when Buying a Car

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 9 Jun 2016 | comments*Discuss
 
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Whether you’re buying a car privately or from a dealership and whether the car’s brand new or second-hand, you’ll need to ensure that you’re given the correct paperwork to go with it. What you’ll need to obtain will depend on whether it’s new or not and where you’ve bought it from, but here is a breakdown of the documents you’ll need and other checks you can carry out:

V5 Vehicle Registration

You should always ask the seller to produce a V5 Vehicle Registration document (often referred to as the ‘log book’) whenever you buy a new or used car - it can help to provide proof of ownership. Once you are given this, the seller needs to inform the DVLA of the change of ownership as, in theory, until they do that, they would still be liable for road tax and any late payment penalties that might result. You should also inform the DVLA that you are the new owner. For the buyer, it’s not simply a case of getting the V5 document but also verifying that the name and address on it matches that of the seller.

MOT Certificate

The seller should also provide you with an up to date MOT certificate. This will give details of when the car was last serviced and is proof that it is road worthy. It can also be useful to check the last 2 MOT certificates if possible. Ensure that there are no discrepancies on the mileage figures and that the certificate is genuine.

Other checks you should make to safeguard you when you buy a car:

Another important thing to look out for is the vehicle identification number, commonly referred to as the VIN. This is usually located under the bonnet, etched on the window, under the floor panel on the driver’s side or can also be found on the chassis. This should match the number on the registration certificate. It’s used to help establish whether the car has had its identity changed or has been rebuilt from parts of which some may be new and some may be old. You can have this checked out by a garage or by road recovery vehicle inspectors for additional peace of mind, although there will be a charge for this.

You should ask the seller if they can provide you with the full service history book of the car and you can also check with the traders who have stamped the book themselves to ensure that the entries contained within it are accurate.

There are numerous companies online where, for a relatively small fee, you can check to see if the car has any outstanding finance on it, whether it is a stolen vehicle or an insurance write off. They can also tell you whether or not the mileage is accurate and whether the registration number and VIN both match.

If you are buying from a dealership using finance they have arranged for you, you should be given a signed copy of the agreement and it’s important to read through it carefully and make sure all of the figures add up. Check the terms and conditions of any additional insurance and extended warranties that you might have agreed to purchase, paying great attention to any ‘exclusions’ in the contract.

The key thing to remember is to take your time and never be rushed into buying a car, new or used. Take stock of all the information that is available to you before committing to buy.

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Whether you’re buying a car privately or from a dealership and whether the car’s brand new or second-hand, you’ll need to ensure that you’re given the correct paperwork to go with it. What you’ll need to obtain will depend on whether it’s new or not and where you’ve bought it from, but here is a breakdown of the documents you’ll need and other checks you can carry out: V5 Vehicle Registration You should always ask the seller to produce a V5 Vehicle Registration document (often referred to as the ‘log book’) whenever you buy a new or used car - it can help to provide proof of ownership. Once you are given this, the seller needs to inform the DVLA of the change of ownership as, in theory, until they do that, they would still be liable for road tax and any late payment penalties that might result. You should also inform the DVLA that you are the new owner. For the buyer, it’s not simply a case of getting the V5 document but also verifying that the name and address on it matches that of the seller and that the registration number of the document matches that on the tax disc. MOT Certificate The seller should also provide you with an up to date MOT certificate. This will give details of when the car was last serviced and is proof that it is road worthy. It can also be useful to check the last 2 MOT certificates if possible. Ensure that there are no discrepancies on the mileage figures and that the certificate is genuine. Related Reading... Can Water Fuel Technology Cut Costs? The Future of Car Design Pros and Cons of Car Leasing Benefits of a Hybrid Car Other checks you should make to safeguard you when you buy a car: Another important thing to look out for is the vehicle identification number, commonly referred to as the VIN. This is usually located under the bonnet, etched on the window, under the floor panel on the driver’s side or can also be found on the chassis. This should match the number on the registration certificate. It’s used to help establish whether the car has had its identity changed or has been rebuilt from parts of which some may be new and some may be old. You can have this checked out by a garage or by road recovery vehicle inspectors for additional peace of mind, although there will be a charge for this. You should ask the seller if they can provide you with the full service history book of the car and you can also check with the traders who have stamped the book themselves to ensure that the entries contained within it are accurate. There are numerous companies online where, for a relatively small fee, you can check to see if the car has any outstanding finance on it, whether it is a stolen vehicle or an insurance write off. They can also tell you whether or not the mileage is accurate and whether the registration number and VIN both match. If you are buying from a dealership using finance they have arranged for you, you should be given a signed copy of the agreement and it’s important to read through it
MikeHunt - 5-Dec-12 @ 12:14 PM
Whether you’re buying a car privately or from a dealership and whether the car’s brand new or second-hand, you’ll need to ensure that you’re given the correct paperwork to go with it. What you’ll need to obtain will depend on whether it’s new or not and where you’ve bought it from, but here is a breakdown of the documents you’ll need and other checks you can carry out: V5 Vehicle Registration You should always ask the seller to produce a V5 Vehicle Registration document (often referred to as the ‘log book’) whenever you buy a new or used car - it can help to provide proof of ownership. Once you are given this, the seller needs to inform the DVLA of the change of ownership as, in theory, until they do that, they would still be liable for road tax and any late payment penalties that might result. You should also inform the DVLA that you are the new owner. For the buyer, it’s not simply a case of getting the V5 document but also verifying that the name and address on it matches that of the seller and that the registration number of the document matches that on the tax disc. MOT Certificate The seller should also provide you with an up to date MOT certificate. This will give details of when the car was last serviced and is proof that it is road worthy. It can also be useful to check the last 2 MOT certificates if possible. Ensure that there are no discrepancies on the mileage figures and that the certificate is genuine. Related Reading... Can Water Fuel Technology Cut Costs? The Future of Car Design Pros and Cons of Car Leasing Benefits of a Hybrid Car Other checks you should make to safeguard you when you buy a car: Another important thing to look out for is the vehicle identification number, commonly referred to as the VIN. This is usually located under the bonnet, etched on the window, under the floor panel on the driver’s side or can also be found on the chassis. This should match the number on the registration certificate. It’s used to help establish whether the car has had its identity changed or has been rebuilt from parts of which some may be new and some may be old. You can have this checked out by a garage or by road recovery vehicle inspectors for additional peace of mind, although there will be a charge for this. You should ask the seller if they can provide you with the full service history book of the car and you can also check with the traders who have stamped the book themselves to ensure that the entries contained within it are accurate. There are numerous companies online where, for a relatively small fee, you can check to see if the car has any outstanding finance on it, whether it is a stolen vehicle or an insurance write off. They can also tell you whether or not the mileage is accurate and whether the registration number and VIN both match. If you are buying from a dealership using finance they have arranged for you, you should be given a signed copy of the agreement and it’s important to read through it
MikeHunt - 5-Dec-12 @ 12:14 PM
Whether you’re buying a car privately or from a dealership and whether the car’s brand new or second-hand, you’ll need to ensure that you’re given the correct paperwork to go with it. What you’ll need to obtain will depend on whether it’s new or not and where you’ve bought it from, but here is a breakdown of the documents you’ll need and other checks you can carry out: V5 Vehicle Registration You should always ask the seller to produce a V5 Vehicle Registration document (often referred to as the ‘log book’) whenever you buy a new or used car - it can help to provide proof of ownership. Once you are given this, the seller needs to inform the DVLA of the change of ownership as, in theory, until they do that, they would still be liable for road tax and any late payment penalties that might result. You should also inform the DVLA that you are the new owner. For the buyer, it’s not simply a case of getting the V5 document but also verifying that the name and address on it matches that of the seller and that the registration number of the document matches that on the tax disc. MOT Certificate The seller should also provide you with an up to date MOT certificate. This will give details of when the car was last serviced and is proof that it is road worthy. It can also be useful to check the last 2 MOT certificates if possible. Ensure that there are no discrepancies on the mileage figures and that the certificate is genuine. Related Reading... Can Water Fuel Technology Cut Costs? The Future of Car Design Pros and Cons of Car Leasing Benefits of a Hybrid Car Other checks you should make to safeguard you when you buy a car: Another important thing to look out for is the vehicle identification number, commonly referred to as the VIN. This is usually located under the bonnet, etched on the window, under the floor panel on the driver’s side or can also be found on the chassis. This should match the number on the registration certificate. It’s used to help establish whether the car has had its identity changed or has been rebuilt from parts of which some may be new and some may be old. You can have this checked out by a garage or by road recovery vehicle inspectors for additional peace of mind, although there will be a charge for this. You should ask the seller if they can provide you with the full service history book of the car and you can also check with the traders who have stamped the book themselves to ensure that the entries contained within it are accurate. There are numerous companies online where, for a relatively small fee, you can check to see if the car has any outstanding finance on it, whether it is a stolen vehicle or an insurance write off. They can also tell you whether or not the mileage is accurate and whether the registration number and VIN both match. If you are buying from a dealership using finance they have arranged for you, you should be given a signed copy of the agreement and it’s important to read through it
MikeHunt - 5-Dec-12 @ 12:13 PM
You should ask the seller if they can provide you with the full service history book of the car and you can also check with the traders who have stamped the book themselves to ensure that the entries contained within it are accurate.
HuntMike - 23-Oct-12 @ 9:39 AM
Make sure the handbook is in the car as they can be expensive to replace if not. Look to see how the security system works – and check that it does – and find out what keys were provided when the car was new. Modern car keys can cost £100+ to replace so if you need more than one key and there's only one available you'll need to bear that cost in mind. Coloured 'master' keys provided by some manufacturers to programme new spare keys for the car are even more expensive to replace. There's no legal requirement but cars are generally sold new with at least one spare key.If there's not a spare now ask why not.
MikeHunt - 23-Oct-12 @ 9:38 AM
Don't forget you should always ask the seller to produce a V5 Vehicle Registration document (often referred to as the ‘log book’) whenever you buy a new or used car - it can help to provide proof of ownership. Once you are given this, the seller needs to inform the DVLA of the change of ownership as, in theory, until they do that, they would still be liable for road tax and any late payment penalties that might result. You should also inform the DVLA that you are the new owner. For the buyer, it’s not simply a case of getting the V5 document but also verifying that the name and address on it matches that of the seller and that the registration number of the document matches that on the tax disc.
MikeyMan - 16-Oct-12 @ 2:21 PM
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