There are certain legal obligations of drivers in the UK which must be fulfilled before they drive a car on a public road. Through this article, we aim to explore whether or not someone can drive a car while they are waiting for a change of ownership of their vehicle. For a deeper view of the topic, we will also discuss whether the transfer of car tax and tax class as well also takes place with a transfer of ownership; as well as review some real-life situations regarding the change of ownership of a vehicle.

Can You Drive A Car While Waiting For Change Of Ownership?

Yes, you can drive a car while waiting for a change of ownership if the below-listed conditions are met:

  • The previous owner has updated the change of ownership details with the DVLA
  • You have the green slip or new keepers slip from the V5C with you
  • You have a valid MOT

Whether you buy a new or a used car, from a car dealer or an individual, it is essential that the vehicle is registered to your name before you drive it home; as it is proof of your ownership of the car. 

The seller of the car must inform the DVLA of this change in ownership (this can be done online nowadays) and hand over the green slip or new keeper’s slip from the vehicle logbook to you.

Using this green slip, you can pay your car tax before driving the car on public roads. In addition to this, you should also have valid insurance applicable to the vehicle.

It will take the DVLA between 4 to 6 weeks to process the application for change of ownership and issue a V5C or vehicle logbook registered to your name. However, during this time, you can use the green slip as proof of your ownership of the car.

It is quite common for used cars to be transferred to young adults in the household by their parents. They must keep in mind that the same rules will apply even if the change in ownership is taking place between family members; including parents and siblings.

However, if the change in ownership involves a disabled person (either as a buyer or a seller) the tax class of the car also needs to be changed while the ownership is transferred. Disabled individuals are exempt from payment of car tax; therefore, if they are either the buyer or seller, it is essential to inform the DVLA of this situation so that in addition to a change in ownership details, the tax class of the vehicle can also be updated.

Can You Transfer Car Tax With Change Of Ownership?

No, a vehicle owner cannot transfer the remaining amount of their car tax when they sell a car. Since the abolishment of car tax discs in 2014, it is no longer possible to transfer car tax to the new owner of a car when you sell a vehicle. However, when you inform the DVLA about the sale and new ownership of your car, they will refund the remaining amount of your car tax to you (the previous owner).

New buyers need the following information from the vehicle’s previous owner so that they can tax the car before driving it:

  • The 11-digit reference number mentioned in the vehicle logbook or V5C if the vehicle has been registered in the new owner’s name
  • The 12-digit reference number on the New Keeper Supplement or V5C/2 if the vehicle has not been registered in the new owner’s name yet

The same rules apply when someone is merely transferring ownership of a car to a family member and not selling it.

Can You Tax A Car While Waiting For Change In Ownership?

You can only pay the car tax on a vehicle that is registered in your name. However, transfer of ownership can be done conveniently and quickly through the DVLA website. Once that is in place and you have the green slip from the vehicle logbook, you can pay your car tax even though you do not have the vehicle logbook registered in your name as yet. 

Payments can be made through local post offices registered for car tax. You may use a debit card, credit card or direct debit facility to make your car tax payment(s).

However, if someone is disabled, they will need to have the vehicle’s tax class updated along with details of a change in ownership. Those who qualify for a Disabled Tax for themselves or a nominated driver and are seeking to apply for the first time will need to apply through a post office; while future modifications to their status such as exemptions and reductions can be applied for online.

To apply for a Disabled Tax for the first time, you will need to carry the following list of documents to the post office with you:

  • Completed application for a Vehicle Registration Certificate (V62)
  • Vehicle Registration Certificate (V5C logbook) or the V5C/2 (nominated driver details)
  • Certificate of Entitlement to DLA, PIP, AFIP or WPMS

Can You Drive A Car Without Paying Car Tax While Waiting For A Change In Ownership?

No, you cannot drive a car without paying car tax even if you are waiting for a change in ownership. If your car is not taxed and is found on the road by the authorities, you will be fined £80 for driving an untaxed vehicle. If you pay the fine within 28 days, the amount will be halved and you will only have to pay £40. 

However, if you do not pay the fine within the stipulated time, the amount can increase to £1,000 and you can be taken to court or your vehicle can be clamped so that it cannot be driven until the fine is paid.  

Paying car tax is one of the legal obligations of car owners in the UK. In addition to this, they must be mindful of the following as well:

  • the vehicle should be registered with DVLA
  • the vehicle must be roadworthy
  • the owner must have paid their current vehicle tax 
  • the owner must have a current mot certificate 
  • the owner must have a minimum of third-party insurance 

Conclusion:

Based on the discussion in this article we can safely conclude that while you may be able to drive your car while the ownership details are changed; you will need the green slip from the vehicle logbook as proof of your ownership of the car. In addition to this, the vehicle must have a valid MOT and insurance as well as updated car tax.

FAQs: Can You Drive A Car While Waiting For Change Of Ownership?

How long does it take to transfer ownership of a car in the UK?

Usually, it takes the DVLA 4 to 6 weeks to transfer ownership of a car in the UK. However, the amount of time it takes will depend on when the previous owner of the car shared the vehicle log book with the DVLA.

Can I change ownership of a vehicle online?

Yes, you can change ownership of a vehicle online if you have the 11-digit reference number from the car logbook.

How do I transfer ownership of a car to a family member in the UK?

The most convenient way to transfer ownership of a car to a family member in the UK is by using the DVLA’s website. Once you add relevant details including the 11-digit reference number from the V5C, you will be issued a green slip that can be given to the new owner of the vehicle.

Can I tax a car without a logbook?

Yes, you can still tax your car without your logbook or V5. However, the vehicle must be registered in your name and you should be able to provide the 11-digit reference number in your V11 reminder notice, a V62 logbook application form or the 12-digit number mentioned in your V5c/2 Green slip.

Can you drive a car while waiting for V5?

You can drive your car while waiting for your V5 if your previous logbook is misplaced and you have filed an application for a new logbook or you are a new car owner and the vehicle is yet to be registered in your name. For this purpose, you must have your V62 logbook application form which shows that you have applied for a V5 while the previous one has gone missing or a V5c/2 Green slip that is issued to new car owners while the ownership of their vehicle is transferred from the previous owner.

References:

How to change the registered keeper of a car: tips for buying or selling your vehicle

How do I transfer ownership and tax for a used car I’ve bought? | AutoTrader

How to Legally Drive Home a Car You Just Bought in the UK

Tax Car Without V5 Logbook, V11 Tax Reminder or Green Slip

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