What is a V5?

A vehicle logbook ~ otherwise known as a V5 ~ is a legal document which is issued by the DVLA. It is used as proof that you own the car and also stores other vital information. But what else does it show, and why is it important?

Many people don’t realise that a V5 is actually a legal requirement as part of car ownership. If you are looking at buying a second-hand car, you should always make sure that the V5 is present and up to date, with all details of previous owners.

It is peace of mind of your cars’ history and without a logbook, your car will be impossible to tax and difficult to sell. If you purchase a car without a logbook, you could have a potentially stolen or previously written off car on your hands.

Something to note is that if you are buying a car and the seller claims the V5 is with the DVLA – they should be able to show you the green part of the document. If they can’t, we would ask a few more questions!

If you own a car and don’t have the V5, you should apply online for a replacement from the DVLA. You will have to make a small payment for the replacement.

So we have covered the basics but what does a V5 actually show?

  • Date of first registration
  • Current Registered Keeper
  • The Previous Registered Keeper
  • Vehicle Details including the model, vehicle tax class, engine size, VIN/Chassis/Frame number and the colour.
  • The forms to fill out and send to the DVLA if the registered keeper or the vehicle itself undergoes a change. 


The last bullet point there is definitely one to keep an eye on. If you change your address for example, or get married, you will need to notify the DVLAS as this needs to be reflected in the V5.

If you are thinking of selling your car, get in touch with us at Essex Car Buyer – if you don’t have your V5, get in touch and we can discuss the options for obtaining it.