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I’ve lost my V5C logbook, what do I do?

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The V5C is a paper document issued by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) to the registered keeper of a vehicle. The V5C, also known as your car’s logbook, contains specific details about your car. You’ll need it to sell or scrap your car and, in some cases, buy car insurance.

Losing your V5C can be inconvenient, but it’s quick and easy to get a new one.

What is a V5C logbook?

The V5C (or V5) is a document issued by the DVLA to the registered keeper of a vehicle. It is the registered keeper, rather than the owner, who is responsible for keeping the V5C up to date and taxing the car.

The V5C contains information about your car, such as the make, model, age, registration number, colour, engine size and CO2 emissions. The V5C also states which vehicle excise duty (car tax) band your car is in.

You can remove various sections of the V5C, fill them in and send them to the DVLA in certain circumstances, such as if you’re selling your car, remapping it or making modifications.

The logbook also contains details of any previous owners, and you’ll need to fill in the “new keeper” section if you sell your car.

Why do I need a V5C logbook?

You’ll need your V5C to do the following to your car:

  • Tax
  • Sell
  • Scrap

You might also need it when you:

  • Get the car’s first MOT test
  • Insure your car

It’s important to make sure your V5C has your correct address. The address on the logbook will be used for the following:

  • Tax reminders and other correspondence from the DVLA
  • Penalties for speeding or other offences from the police
  • Parking tickets from councils or private parking firms

An incorrect address could mean notices regarding speeding offences and parking fines are sent to the wrong address. This could result in you paying higher penalties than necessary; if these go unpaid, you could end up in court.

You can be fined up to £1,000 if you don’t tell the DVLA when your address changes.

What should I do if I’ve lost my V5C logbook?

Don’t worry if you’ve lost or damaged your V5C logbook – you can get a replacement in the following ways:

  • Online
  • By post
  • By phone

How to get a new V5C online

If the address on your V5C is up to date and you are the registered keeper of the vehicle, you can use the DVLA online service to get a replacement V5C.

You’ll need to confirm what has happened to your V5C (ie it has been lost or destroyed, you didn’t receive it or your insurer destroyed it because it considered your car a write-off).

Next, you’ll need to enter your vehicle registration number and your vehicle identification number (VIN). The VIN will be stamped into the chassis of the vehicle and can usually be found in the engine bay or around the driver or passenger door opening.

You’ll also need to confirm your name and postcode (the same as on the V5C).

Applying for a new V5C online costs £25, and you should receive the new logbook in the post within five working days.

However, you can’t use the online service to get a new V5C if:

  • You need to change any of your details
  • You don’t have the vehicle in your possession
  • You’ve already sent your V5C to the DVLA for changes to be made
  • Your vehicle is registered as part of the DVLA fleet scheme
  • Your vehicle is registered abroad (including the Channel Islands, Isle of Man or Ireland)

How to get a new V5C by post

To get a new V5C by post, you’ll need to complete form V62, which is an application for a vehicle registration certificate. You can get a V62 from a post office or by visiting the government website.

You’ll need to complete the V62 and send it to the DVLA, Swansea SA99 1DD, with a cheque or postal order for £25.

If you’ve bought a new car and you haven’t received your logbook within four weeks, you get a two-week window to fill in the V62 and order a logbook. If you don’t inform the DVLA within six weeks, you’ll have to pay £25.

How to get a new V5C by phone

You can apply for a new V5C by phone if you’re the registered keeper of the vehicle and the V5C is lost or damaged.

Call the DVLA on 0300 790 6802. This line is open Monday to Friday from 8am-7pm and on Saturdays from 8am-2pm.

You’ll need to give the DVLA the same information as you would for an online application:

  • Your vehicle registration number
  • Your car’s VIN
  • The name and postcode on the logbook

Phone applications take longer – about four weeks. Therefore, only use the phone service if you don’t have access to the internet.

You can’t use the phone service to get a new V5C if any of your details or your vehicle’s details have changed.

How much does it cost to replace a lost V5C logbook?

Whichever method you use to get a new logbook, it costs £25. You can pay by credit or debit card if you apply online or over the phone, or you can pay with a cheque or postal order if you apply by post.

There are no refunds if you later find your original V5C.

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It’s usually a bad idea to buy a car without a V5C. This is because the car could be:

 

  • Written off
  • Stolen
  • Used as security for a “logbook loan”
  • Subject to a finance agreement

 

The DVLA advises potential buyers to ask to see the V5C when viewing a vehicle. Make sure it has a “DVL” watermark and the serial number is not between BG8229501 and BG9999030 or BI2305501 and BI2800000. If it is, the V5C might be stolen, and you should call the police as soon as it’s safe to do so.

 

Buyers should also make sure the details in the logbook (such as the registration number and VIN) match the details they’ve been given about the car.

How to change the details on a V5C logbook

You must update the details on your V5C to tell the DVLA about:

  • Mistakes on your V5C
  • Changes to your name or address
  • Changes you make to your vehicle

You must update your V5C if you change any of the following on your car:

  • Colour
  • Engine
  • Cylinder capacity
  • Fuel type
  • Chassis or bodyshell
  • Seating capacity
  • Weight of a large vehicle (ie goods vehicle or campervan)
  • Wheel plan
  • Body type (ie converting a van to a campervan)
  • VIN
  • Chassis number
  • Frame number for motorbikes

Some of these changes might take place if you have your car remapped.

If you have a new style logbook with multi-coloured numbered blocks on the front cover (issued since April 2019), fill in the bottom part of section 1 and send the entire logbook to DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1BA. In the old-style logbooks (issued before April 2019), fill in section 7 and send it to the same address.

If you’ve changed the engine size, the fuel type, the weight of a goods vehicle or the number of seats on a bus, you need to send it to a different address: DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1DZ.

In either case, check whether you also need to send evidence of any changes, such as receipts or an inspection report.

You’ll get an updated V5C within about four weeks. The DVLA will also tell you if your vehicle needs an inspection or if the changes mean you have to pay additional vehicle tax.

Do I need a V5C logbook to insure my car?

You don’t normally need your logbook to compare car insurance quotes on a price comparison site or obtain a quote directly from an insurer.

However, some insurers might ask for your logbook details when you buy a policy, especially if the car is not registered to the person taking out the policy.

When buying insurance, ensure the registered keeper on your insurance policy is also the registered keeper on the V5C.

Lost V5C logbook FAQs

You normally need a V5C to tax your car, but you can also tax it using a reference number from:

  • A vehicle tax reminder letter (V11) from the DVLA
  • The green “new keeper” slip from the logbook of a car you’ve just bought

If you don’t have a logbook or the reference number, you’ll need to get a new V5C before you can tax your car.

While waiting for your V5C, you’ll need to take the car off the road, not drive it and declare a Statutory Off Road Notification.

Legally, you can sell your car without a V5C, but it will make it much more difficult.

Potential buyers will be put off, as they may suspect the car is stolen or has outstanding financing. Some people may try to haggle the price down in the absence of a V5C, so it’s worth spending £25 on a new logbook before trying to sell.

It will be tricky to sell a car without a logbook through a dealer – they usually require full documentation.

If you sell your car without a logbook, you’re required to tell the DVLA about the sale. You can do this online at gov.uk. You’ll need to provide the vehicle details, your name and address and the name and address of the new owner.

If you sell privately, the V5C process depends on whether the logbook was issued before or after 15 April 2019.

For old-style logbooks:

  • The seller completes section 6, called “new keeper details”
  • Both the buyer and seller sign the declaration in section 8
  • The seller duplicates the information from section 6 to section 10, called “new keeper supplement”, and gives it to the buyer
  • The seller sends the V5C to the DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1BA

For new-style logbooks:

  • The seller completes section 2, called “selling or transferring my vehicle to a new keeper”
  • The seller fills in section 6, called the “new keeper” slip, and gives it to the buyer
  • The seller sends the V5C to the DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1BA

If you sell to a trader or dealer, you can tell the DVLA about it via its online service. Alternatively, complete section 9 of your logbook and send it to the DVLA; the dealer keeps the rest of the V5C logbook.

Yes, you need to update your V5C if you modify your car or have the engine remapped. You can do this by completing section 1 in the new-style logbooks or section 7 in the old-style logbooks and sending it to the DVLA (as above).

emma lunn

Emma Lunn

Money Writer

Emma Lunn is a multi-award winning journalist who specialises in personal finance and consumer issues. 

With more than 18 years’ experience in personal finance, Emma has covered topics including mortgages, first-time buyers, leasehold, banking, debt, budgeting, broadband, energy, pensions and investments. 

Emma’s one of the most prolific freelance personal finance journalists with a back catalogue of work in newspapers such as The Guardian, The Independent, The Daily Telegraph, the Mail on Sunday, and the Mirror. 

As a freelancer she has also completed various in-house contracts at The Guardian, The Independent, Mortgage Solutions, Orange, and Moneywise. She also writes regularly for specialist magazines and websites such as Property Hub, Mortgage Strategy and YourMoney.com. 

She has a real passion for helping people learn about money – especially when many people are struggling to get by in today’s challenging economic climate – and prides herself on simplifying complex subjects.

Molly Dyson

Editor

After growing up with a passion for writing, Molly studied journalism and creative writing at university in her home country of the United States.

She has written for a variety of print and online publications, from small town newspapers to international magazines. Most of her 10-year career since relocating to the UK has been spent in business journalism, writing and editing for admin professionals at PA Life magazine and business travel managers at Business Travel News Europe and representing those titles at conferences around the world.

Now an Editor at the Independent Advisor, Molly is an expert in a broad range of consumer topics, that include solar panels and renewables, home improvements and home insurance, and consumer technology such as home security and VPNs.

In her free time, Molly can usually be found exploring the outdoors with her husband and their young son or gardening.