We're selling our car - what do we do about tax and insurance?

Our car is going to be sold. The insurance runs out at the end of May. We will not be driving it again other than to put it on the drive with a For Sale sign on it. Do we need to tax, and insure it? Also, the MoT is due on 20 June. Do we need to obtain that. Secondly, when we sell it to a private individual, do they need to show they have insured it and taxed it before it leaves our premises?

Asked on 5 June 2019 by Anne Johnstone

Answered by David Ross
The vehicle either needs to be put on a SORN - a Statutory Off Road Notice - or it must, by law, be taxed and insured. You can apply for a SORN online: sorn.service.gov.uk/

We'd suggest keeping it taxed and insured while you're selling it - potential buyers will likely want to test drive the car (check they are insured to do so) and it covers it if it's stolen or damaged. Be aware that while the vehicle is in your charge, it is an offence to allow someone the use of the vehicle if it is uninsured.

When you've sold the car, the quickest way to tell the DVLA is online. You can do that here: www.gov.uk/sold-bought-vehicle

It means there's no need to send off the V5C document by post. You'll get a refund of any outstanding tax: www.gov.uk/vehicle-tax-refund

The new owner is then responsible for taxing the car and organising insurance before they drive it. We would certainly suggest having the MoT done if it's due. It will make the car much easier to sell and command a better price. Buyers will be suspicious of a car that has no MoT.

We have a section on selling a car that may prove useful: www.honestjohn.co.uk/how-to-sell-your-car/#
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