In order to legally sell a car, it must be roadworthy and fully match the description you provide.
You’ll need to be able to provide the V5C logbook, which acts as proof of ownership. It’s fine to let potential buyers have a look at this before completing a purchase, but don’t hand it or any copies over beforehand.
Once the car is sold, you’ll need to fill out the relevant sections in the logbook (section 6 and 8 for private sales and section 9 when selling to a trader, dismantler or insurer) and post it to the DVLA, or inform them online via GOV.uk. Then, there should be a green ‘new keeper’ slip which is given to the buyer.
It’s also helpful to have MOT certificates and service history at the ready – some buyers will cite a lack of history as a reason to knock the price down. If you can get an MOT test done with a fresh certificate to offer before you sell, all the better.
If there is outstanding warranty on the car, be sure to let the company know that you’re selling it. In some cases, the warranty will be transferable to the new owner, in which case you should let them know what the remaining time period is and provide them with the warranty documents.
If a buyer is paying with a deposit, you’ll need to provide them with a receipt as confirmation, and keep one copy for yourself – this is called proof of reservation. Once they’ve paid full price and the deal is finalised, you’ll need to provide a proof of purchase receipt as well. These should include the sale date, registration number, car make and model, and both parties’ names and addresses. The AA provides a template which you can use for both – for the proof of reservation, just fill in the amount paid as a deposit. Then for the proof of purchase, fill in the remaining sum. If they are paying the full amount in one go, you’ll only need the proof of purchase.
In other words, you should end up with four receipts total (two each) if they are paying with a deposit, or two receipts total (one each) if they are not.
Remember that reserving a car is not the same as buying it, and you should never let someone drive off with your vehicle until you’ve been paid in full. It’s best not to accept cheques for this reason – make sure you’ve been paid in cash or via a bank transfer and that the money is 100% yours before you hand over the keys.