Selling a car? Don’t forget to tell the DVLA!

Lady completing a formI hope you all had a good weekend and managed to dodge the heavy rain showers on Saturday. At the weekend, I finally got round to putting my car up for sale, which is something I’ve been considering for a while. Whilst I was doing this, it got me thinking about my colleagues from the office telling me about members of the public saying they’ve been sent Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) for vehicles which they no longer own.

The reason that this can sometimes happen is that a PCN is issued to a vehicle, where the DVLA hasn’t been informed of a change of ownership of the vehicle.

In order for parking authorities (such as the NEPP) to issue enforcement documents, they need to know the name and address of the registered keeper of the vehicle at the time an unpaid PCN was served. This information can be obtained from the DVLA, and once they have this, parking authorities will send all the information and letters with regard to the PCN to the address provided by the DVLA.

When making enquiries, parking authorities have to wait sufficient time to allow a motorist to inform the DVLA of the sale of the vehicle before requesting the vehicle keeper details from them.  If vehicle owners don’t notify the DVLA of the sale of a vehicle promptly and the new owner parks illegally and receives a PCN, the previous owner will still be liable as they will still be down on their records as the registered keeper.

When any motorist sells a car, they have a legal obligation to notify the DVLA of the change and provide them with the new vehicle owner’s details, without delay. Any motorist failing to do this remains liable for the vehicle until the vehicle keeper’s details are updated. If the DVLA hasn’t been informed that the vehicle is sold, then the information they provide parking authorities with isn’t correct.

I can appreciate that receiving follow-up enforcement for a vehicle you no longer own can be very stressful but unfortunately unless you can provide solid evidence and proof that you were no longer the vehicle owner at the time of the parking contravention, the case will continue to be processed, and ultimately the bailiff can call if it reaches that stage.
With that in mind, it is important to ensure that the DVLA has an accurate record of your vehicle(s). Details of what vehicle keepers need to do when they’re buying and selling vehicles can be found on the DVLA’s website, so if like me, you’re selling a car, please make sure you notify the DVLA of the change of ownership as soon as it’s sold. Details are on the Vehicle Registration Document, and this link might help:

If you receive correspondence from any Agency about a vehicle which you do not own, the best advice is to contact DVLA right away. More information can be found at this link:

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