We use cookies!

Hi, this website stores cookies on your computer. These cookies are used to improve your website experience and provide more personalised services to you. To find out more about the cookies we use, see our Privacy Policy.

Selling a Deceased Person’s Car

03 April 2023
Losing a loved one can be a difficult time. In the midst of grief, it’s understandable to feel overwhelmed at the thought of selling a deceased person’s car. You don’t have to deal with it alone. We’re here for you to make the process manageable and straightforward.


Can I sell a car for someone who has died?

If you’re dealing with a deceased person’s affairs, how you approach selling their car depends on whether you have the vehicle logbook, also known as the V5C.

Assuming you have the logbook, write a notification letter to the DVLA Sensitive Casework team enclosing the right part of the V5C form informing them that the registered keeper has passed away.

The notification letter should include; the date they died, your relationship to the person, and outline who should be paid the vehicle tax refund if one is due.

For the vehicle logbook V5C, the part you send to the sensitive casework team depends on whether you’re selling the vehicle to a private individual or a dealer. Don’t forget to include your name, address, and the date of communication in all correspondance to the DVLA. 

Can you sell a deceased person's car without probate? 

You are not legally obligated to wait for the probate process or letters of administration to be finalised to sell a car, as a person’s car is considered "chattel". This means it is a tangible good and/or an item of property other than freehold land. 

Selling the vehicle to a private buyer

For a new style logbook, fill in section 2. Your logbook is the new style if it has multi-coloured, numbered blocks on the front cover. Complete section 6 on older style logbooks.

Pass on the green new keeper slip to the private individual and enclose the V5C with your letter to the Sensitive Casework team.

Selling the vehicle to a dealer/trader

Ask the dealer/trader to fill in the yellow section of the log book where it says sell, transfer or part-exchange your vehicle to the motor trade. Dealers and traders will be aware of where this section is. They will tear off the part for you to enclose with your letter to the DVLA. Leave the rest of the V5C with the dealer/trader. 

If you’re selling to a motor trader, they may ask to see a copy of the death certificate and the driving license of the person bringing the car in.

Can I sell my deceased father’s car?

You can sell your deceased father’s car, here are some things to consider before doing so:

  • If the car was financed, establish if there is any outstanding finance to pay. You can gain access to this information by contacting the finance company. We can obtain a settlement figure from your current finance provider too.
  • Make sure all named executors are happy with the decision to sell the car.
  • If there is more than one executor, agree whether you want to sell the car privately or to a motor trader.
  • Seek help if you need any further information. At IsYourCarAvailable, our team is always happy to answer any questions. To buy the car, we’ll need legal proof you are a personal representative of the deceased’s estate. Once we have this information, we will guide you through the process of how to sell the vehicle to us and can advise you on how to deal with any outstanding debts linked to the vehicle.

How do I sell my car after bereavement?

Losing a loved one is hard, and dealing with their belongings can create unforeseen complexities. If you want to sell a motor vehicle owned by a family member who has passed away, we’re here to make the process smooth for you.

If the last will exists, it is often straightforward to transfer ownership of the car.

Five things to be aware of if you are dealing with the car of a loved one:

  1. Insurance – with the death of the owner, the vehicle will not be insured. You must contact the insurance company confirming the date they died. If the car needs to move to be stored safely, you will need insurance to move it. Temporary cover will enable you to drive the car to a secure location for off-road storage. Before you drive the car on the roads, make sure the vehicle tax is still valid.
  2. The issue of ownership needs to be considered. It is often easier to transfer ownership of the car into your name even if you will be selling the car. The DVLA Sensitive Casework team can help with this.
  3. Once ownership is established, the car’s value might be needed for inheritance tax purposes. Under UK inheritance laws, if the car is left to a named person in the last will, the person can keep or sell the car regardless of value. If the car isn’t mentioned specifically in the last will, additional administration work is required to establish the car’s value. This is something we can help with at IsYourCarAvailable. A valuation can be retrieved online in a matter of minutes - all we need is the current mileage and the car’s registration number.
  4. Check the vehicle excise duty online for its car tax status. If the vehicle is currently taxed, you cannot transfer vehicle tax to a new owner. If the car is registered as SORN (Statutory Off-Road Notification) you don’t need to take any action. If you sell the car, the new keeper will need to pay vehicle tax and, you might be eligible for a vehicle tax refund. For new excise vehicle rates, head this way. The DVLA will inform you of any outstanding tax. You do not need to contact HM revenue regarding car tax.
  5. As a personal representative, cancel any existing car breakdown cover policies. Most breakdown cover companies will request a copy of the death certificate and a letter confirming that the policyholder has passed away.

How do you transfer ownership of a car when the owner dies?

To transfer ownership of a car, contact the DVLA to let them know you are a personal representative, and the owner of the car has passed away – they will ask for the date they died and your relationship to the person. If the car in question must be moved before ownership is transferred, the designated driver must contact their insurance company to get appropriate cover beforehand.


How do I inform DVLA of a death? 

To inform the DVLA of a death, write a letter to let them know you are dealing with the deceased’s estate and will be selling the vehicle. Enclose the right part of the V5C log book with your letter which should also state the date they died and your relationship to the deceased.


What is the address of the DVLA Case Sensitive team?

The address for the DVLA Sensitive Casework team is:

DVLA Sensitive Casework Team
SA99 1ZZ


How does an executor sell a deceased person's car?

If you are dealing with the deceased’s financial affairs as an executor and would like to sell the vehicle to IsYourCarAvailable, we need a solicitor’s letter showing you have permission to sell the car. Alongside a letter, we will need to view the death certificate and your photo ID (passport or driving license accepted) of the person bringing the car to us. 

We aim to ensure the whole process of selling a deceased person’s car is straightforward for you. The application process starts online, and your valuation is guaranteed for four days after you obtain your price. Where there is outstanding finance, we will happily settle the balance and refund you the difference. Please ensure you have an up-to-date settlement figure from the lender alternatively, one of our vehicle appraisers can help obtain this for you. 

If we buy the vehicle, the funds will be paid into your bank account within three days. 

You may wish to take the vehicle to an authorised treatment facility, you can search local facilities on the DVLA website. 


For bereavement support, contact www.cruse.org.uk