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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 the registered keeper (owner) of a vehicle, you can be held liable for any costs it incurs. This is even if it has since been sold on and abandoned. 

When a vehicle is reported as abandoned, the Council tries to trace its owner using information from the Driver Vehicle and Licensing Agency (DVLA). Their information can tell us whether a car:

  • is taxed
  • has a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN)
  • is registered as already destroyed
  • as well as details of the registered keeper

Removing and destroying abandoned vehicles is very expensive. Where there is no registered keeper, the costs are met by the taxpayer.

Therefore the Council will always try to charge the registered keeper for the removal and disposal of a vehicle. Unfortunately, this could be someone who has sold the vehicle on – only to become a victim of car crime.

Follow these guidelines to avoid being held liable for a car you have sold on:

  1. When you sell your car, make sure you have completed the V5C registration document (logbook) and sent 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.
  2. Never give your car away – even if it’s just for parts – without filling in the V5C and sending it to the DVLA.
  3. If you scrap your car, make sure you use an Authorised Treatment Facility to do so. Keep the Certificate of Destruction they give you.
  4. Make sure your vehicle's road tax is always up-to-date.
  5. If you register your vehicle as SORN, make sure it is parked off-road on private land. Make sure you have permission to park it or it could still be removed.