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Selling your car.
Buying a car.
Checklist before buying a car, documents, HPI, safety.
Before driving off with your new car.
Maintaining your vehicle, MOT, Road tax, Insurance.

Selling your car

You would get the most money for your car if you sold it privately. To sell, use online trading websites such as, carguru, online auction sites like eBay cars or classifieds sites e.g.: facebook marketplace,

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If you are looking to buy another car, your old car can be part exchanged at some dealers.
If you are looking for a quick sale, some companies will immediately buy any car from you no matter how old it is or what type of car it is. Fast selling companies such as

You can also choose to take your car off the road (SORN) or if it is unsellable due to its bad condition, you might be able to sell it to a scrap yard or as parts. Read more about SORN and scrap yards in car related issues in London article.

Buying a car

To buy a brand new car you can purchase one from a car dealership, online or from a car broker.

Used cars can be found from used car dealers, private sellers, car auction showrooms, online car trading and in classifieds sites. Look up your nearest used car dealer or auction sites online, you can also visit used car trading websites such as ebay cars, autotrader, facebook marketplace, cargurus, gumtree, parkers, vcars, cargiant.

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Checklist before buying a car

The Documents

  • Make sure the seller of the car shows you the V5C registration document. It is a 2 X A4 page document. (Without this you won’t be able to tax the car!) You should not buy a car without a V5C. Check that the seller of the car is the registered keeper that is shown on the V5C document.
  • Check to see if the number plate, the vehicle colour, engine number and vehicle identification number (VIN) match the V5C document.
  • Run a basic car check for MOT, Road tax on the government website.
  • HPI check

HPI check
It is a good idea, before purchasing any used vehicle, to have an HPI check on it, to ensure it is not reported stolen, there is no outstanding finance, it has the correct mileage, it was not involved in any accidents, all the vehicle details are correct such as log book and vin motor number.
An HPI check usually costs about £20. However there are many different websites that offer HPI checks at different prices. Get an instant HPI Check by texting the registration plate number to 78 888. A basic check is £3 and a Gold check is £4. To find out more visit

The Safety

  • Check that the tyres are in good condition and if there is a spare wheel.
  • Look for rust
  • Check that the seat belts are all working properly
  • Check if the windscreen wipers, horn, lights, indicators, break lights work properly.
  • You can take it for a test drive, check if the steering and brakes are in good condition, listen for any unusual noises, if the handbrake is working well.

After the checks are done

To complete the purchase. For you to be the registered owner of the vehicle, you need to fill in the car registration document V5C. By law the seller is responsible to post it to the DVLA or to report the change of ownership online. Then you as a buyer retain the new keeper green slip as a proof of ownership until your documents arrive.

Before you drive off with your new car.

You must ensure you have the followings on your vehicle:

  • Insurance, compare insurance prices –, or get a quote from AXA Car Insurance.
  • MOT, it is valid until the day of expiry.
  • Road tax, which is not transferable and need to be purchased by the new owner. Buy Road Tax here.

Car Insurance

You can get a quote prior to the purchase on, AXA Car Insurance.
Car Insurance can cost around £200 – £2000 per year. The cost of the insurance will vary according to age, address, where the car is kept, previous claim history, alarm or tracker devices, profession, mileage, purpose of use e.g. commuting, social, business, previous motoring offences.

Each person that drives the car must be insured. You can check the Motor Insurance Database (MID) to see if your car has a valid insurance policy at

Well known insurance comparison websites include:, AXA Car Insurance.

Breakdown cover
Some insurance policies include breakdown cover, but you can also search online for the best deals. Well known companies include QDOS, RAC, AA.
When travelling outside of the UK you must ensure that you have European insurance from your insurer. European Breakdown cover also recommended.

MOT (Ministry of Transport Test)

This is to check for vehicle safety, road worthiness and exhaust emission. MOT tests in England have to be carried out yearly at an official MOT test centre such as KwikFit, Halfords auto centre or independent garages. The cost is approximately £50.

Servicing the car yearly is not mandatory but recommended. A basic service will include an oil and filter change and a visual inspection of the car.

Road Tax

It must be paid before you can use the vehicle on a public road. The vehicle tax rate is based on either engine size or fuel type and CO2 emissions. For a standard car the tax is in the range of £30 – £250 per year. Road tax rates.

Road tax can be paid onlineBuy Road Tax or at any post office using your green slip from the V5C page 2 (Details of new vehicle keeper slip) if you’ve recently bought the vehicle.

To renew, use the road tax reminder V11, this will be sent by DVLA in the post a month before your car road tax expires or registration certificate with your MOT test certificate. You can also apply by phoning the DVLA vehicle tax service on 0300 123 4321. It is a 24 hour service.