Tuesday 27th August 2013
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You have seen the car of your dreams, but the owner does not have a V5 document. Since there are so many cars selling without it, what should you do in this situation?

Every motorist should be wary when buying a new car from the second hand market.

Furthermore, you always need to be on your guard when the V5 document is not present.

However, it may not be deliberate as there are legitimate people who may have genuinely misplaced their V5 document.

V5 document accessibility

At the end of the day only you can make that ultimate decision as to whether the owner of the car is legitimate. A justifiable reason could be that the owner has died, and family members are selling on the car. There could be many genuine reasons why someone does not have their V5 document.

If you love the car and everything else appears fine, contact the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) on 0300 790 6802 and they will be able to inform you if the car has been stolen.

If you decide to go ahead with the purchase you could offer a small deposit to hold the car. Please make sure you get a receipt. Applying for the V5 document is easier than most people think. Contact the DVLA using the same telephone number mentioned earlier to apply for the certificate. A small fee is generally applicable so you may want to balance this against the price of the car. The V5 document is also known as the logbook. It usually takes about 7 to 14 days to arrive, but you may expect it to take much longer.

A good way to check a vehicle is to visit gov.uk. Go to the page 'Checks When Buying Used Car'. This is the following information you will get from DVLA: when is the tax disc due to expire, when the SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) expires, date the vehicle first registered, the engine size, the colour of the vehicle, the manufactured year, CO2 emission and the current vehicle tax rate. By spending very little time doing your homework you will gain more of a peace of mind to protect yourself from buying a stolen vehicle.