Written statement to Parliament

The re-designed vehicle registration certificate and 'buyer beware' consumer protection initiative

We are introducing a redesigned vehicle registration certificate and 'buyer beware' guidance to help protect motorists from vehicle crime.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The Rt Hon Mike Penning MP

I am today (21 July 2010) announcing the immediate introduction of a re-designed and more secure registration certificate (V5C) for vehicles in the United Kingdom. The new documents will be issued from 15 August 2010 for all newly registered vehicles and when there are changes to an existing registration, such as a change of keeper or address.

I am introducing the new certificate as a matter of urgency to help protect motorists from vehicle crime following the theft of a number of blank certificates in 2006. Vehicles have been stolen, cloned and sold to consumers using some of the stolen V5Cs. Buyers often mistakenly believe the V5C to be proof of ownership of a vehicle. This is not the case. The new V5C, which is a different colour, will make it clear the document is not proof of ownership and will help draw to an end the threat posed by the stolen documents. This will help buyers to protect themselves.

From July 2011, the new-style V5C will be issued to all remaining vehicles when they are next re-licensed or declared to be off the road. Their existing blue V5C will remain valid until it is replaced and at that time we will not be asking for the old V5C to be returned.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) and the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) in Northern Ireland are also promoting a ‘buyer beware’ message aimed at helping motorists understand the risks around stolen or cloned vehicles. In particular, buyers need to ask for proof of ownership, for example a bill of sale. The DirectGov website now has a list of checks that should be carried out by prospective buyers when looking to buy a second-hand vehicle. The list is printable, to make it easy to use when going to inspect a vehicle.

DVLA and DVA are working in partnership with industry leaders and consumer champions to make the DirectGov and NI Direct websites a central point for expert knowledge on how to avoid being sold a stolen vehicle. While no one can guarantee that motorists won’t ever become the victims of vehicle crime, DVLA and DVA believe they can help individuals to make the right decisions by helping them understand the risks involved.

Published 21 July 2010