Car Selling

A Guide to Selling a Deceased Person’s Car in the UK

Dealing with the affairs of a deceased loved one involves navigating various legal and emotional challenges. When it comes to selling a deceased person’s car in the UK, specific steps must be followed to ensure a smooth and lawful process. This comprehensive guide outlines the necessary actions to take during this sensitive time.

2. Locate Essential Documents:

  • Vehicle V5C Logbook: The V5C logbook is crucial for transferring vehicle ownership. Locate this document, and if it’s missing or damaged, apply for a replacement through the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

3. Determine the Vehicle’s Value:

  • Vehicle Valuation: Assess the value of the car using various methods, such as online valuation tools, professional appraisers, or consulting with reputable dealerships.

4. Communicate with Relevant Parties:

  • Executor and Heirs: Maintain clear communication with the executor of the deceased person’s will and other heirs. Inform them of your intention to sell the car and ensure consensus before proceeding.

5. Secure the Vehicle:

  • Safe Storage: If the vehicle is not in use, consider securing it in a safe and appropriate location to prevent any potential damage or unauthorized use.

6. Probate Court Approval:

  • Approval Process: Seek approval from the probate court to sell the vehicle. Provide details about the proposed sale, including the expected financial implications for the estate.

7. Complete Transfer of Ownership:

  • DVLA Notification: Complete the appropriate forms provided by the DVLA for transferring ownership. These forms will require details about the deceased person, the executor, and the buyer.
  • Probate Documents: Include copies of the probate documents to confirm legal authority during the transfer process.
  • Selling a deceased person’s car without a V5C logbook
  • If you intend to sell the inherited car or van and lack a V5C logbook, you’ll need to send a letter to the DVLA’s Sensitive Casework Team and must incorporate a V62 form, in addition to the subsequent details:
  • The date of the car sale
  • Your relationship with the deceased individual
  • The date of their death
  • The name of the recipient for any road tax reimbursement·  The full name and address of the buyer

8. Choose a Method of Sale:

  • Private Sale or Dealer: Decide whether to sell the car privately or through a reputable dealership. Consider factors such as convenience, potential financial considerations, and the condition of the vehicle.

9. Negotiate and Finalize Sale:

  • Negotiation: If selling privately, negotiate the sale price with the buyer. Ensure transparency in the transaction.
  • Paperwork: Complete all necessary paperwork, including a bill of sale, and provide the buyer with the necessary documentation.

10. Transfer License Plates and Cancel Insurance:

  • License Plates: Remove the license plates before completing the sale. Depending on regulations, transfer them to another vehicle or return them to the DVLA.
  • Insurance: Cancel the insurance policy for the deceased person’s vehicle after the sale is concluded.

11. Distribution of Proceeds:

  • Estate Funds: Deposit the proceeds from the car sale into the estate funds, ensuring proper accounting and transparency.
  • Legal Assistance: If the process becomes complex or disputes arise among heirs, seek legal counsel to ensure compliance with probate laws.


Selling a deceased person’s car in the UK involves a combination of legal procedures, effective communication, and sensitivity. By following these steps and seeking professional advice when necessary, you can navigate the process with respect for the departed and adherence to UK legal requirements.

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