Documents Needed For Car Selling & Free Sold As Seen Contract

When you’re ready to sell your car in the UK, having the correct documentation is essential for a smooth and legally compliant transaction. Whether you’re selling privately or through a dealer, certain documents are universally required. However, private sales may need additional paperwork, like a “sold as seen” agreement, to clearly state the condition of the car as agreed upon by both parties.

Section 1: The Vehicle Registration Certificate (V5C)

The V5C, or logbook, is the cornerstone of car sale documents. It proves vehicle ownership and is crucial for the legal transfer to the new owner. If your V5C is lost or damaged, apply for a replacement from the DVLA well in advance of the sale, as this process can take a few weeks.

Need more help with changing ownership click here for our guide

Section 2: Service History and MOT Certificates

Providing a full service history can greatly increase buyer confidence and potentially the selling price of your car. It shows the car has been well maintained. Similarly, current MOT certificates prove the car is roadworthy. If any certificates are missing, your are able to visit the .gov mot website for view a vehicle mot history. 

Section 3: Receipt of Sale

Creating a detailed receipt for the sale is crucial. This document should include the sale date, the amount paid, terms of the sale (e.g., “sold as seen”), and the details of both the buyer and the seller. This receipt acts as a contract and proof of purchase. For a free receipt template use our sold as seen contract. 

Section 4: Handling Outstanding Finance

If your car has outstanding finance, it must be settled before or at the time of the sale. Provide the buyer with a settlement letter from your finance company, and ensure the balance is paid in full, with confirmation documentation to prove the finance has been cleared.

Section 5: “Sold as Seen” Agreement (For Private Sales Only)

In private sales, unlike dealer transactions, you might want to use a “sold as seen” agreement. This document makes it clear that the buyer accepts the car in its current condition and understands that any future repairs are their responsibility. Utilise the “sold as seen” template available on our website to ensure both parties are clear on the terms. 

Section 6: Proof of Identification

For security and to prevent fraud, both buyer and seller should exchange and verify each other’s identification. Acceptable forms of ID include a passport or driving license. This step is crucial in ensuring the legitimacy of both parties in the transaction.

Section 7: Additional Documents and Checks

While not mandatory, providing additional documentation like a recent vehicle history check can reassure the buyer of the car’s provenance and that it hasn’t been involved in any major incidents or has outstanding recalls. Also, if part-exchanging, ensure you have the V5C/2 from the logbook to hand over.

Other Vehicle Checks

  • Check service history for any receipts with debit card details 
  • Check Receipts for any names and address mark off name and address but leave vehicle registration

Final Thoughts

Selling a car requires attention to detail in terms of paperwork to ensure everything is above board and legally binding. By preparing all necessary documents in advance, you can provide transparency, build trust with the buyer, and ensure a smooth transition.

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