What you need to know when selling a deceased person’s car

The death of a partner or close family member is a traumatic period for anyone. It’s not a topic we like to bring up, however; we do receive many enquiries, unfortunately, from the recently bereaved asking if we are able to buy the car of a late family member.

Uncertainty in the period immediately after bereavement is certainly not a time any of us would choose to deal with pending legal and financial matters. Sadly it is an essential task sorting out the deceased’s financial affairs, and this does often include their vehicle.

Prior to selling

  • You may need to drive the vehicle in the immediate aftermath. If the vehicle was insured in their name, contact the insurance company to check if you will be covered to do this. Even if you were a named driver on the policy the majority of policies automatically terminate if the main policyholder dies. So it is imperative to determine this.
  • A motor vehicle is deemed as chattel so you do not have to wait until a grant of probate or letters of administration have been issued to be able to transfer a car to another owner or to sell it. However, you will need to deal with the vehicle tax as this can no longer be transferred to another person and also look to settle any outstanding finance.
  • Your relationship to the deceased person may impact on how their car can be dealt with. For instance, a spouse would may have a different legal status to a cousin. Speak to a solicitor for clarity on this area.
  • This article assumes you are legally entitled to sell or transfer the car. If you are in any doubt about the ownership of the car, or who will receive it in the will, or who has the right to sell it, or any other detail, then you should seek legal advice. This guide does not constitute legal advice, and the process of selling the car of a loved one who has passed away can vary depending on your circumstances.

Advice on selling a deceased person’s car

Here’s some advice on what to do if you are in the unfortunate position (and we do hope that you never have to use this advice!)


If a driver has died, send the person’s driving license and registration certificate (V5C) to DVLA.

  • Include a letter with the documents explaining and mark for the attention of the DVLA Sensitive Casework Team:
  • Your relationship to the person who has died
    the date of death
    their name, address and date of birth
  • If you don’t have the V5C then just send the letter.

Selling the vehicle to another keeper

(If you have the V5C registration certificate)

You need to:

  • Fill in section 6 ‘new keeper details’ in section 6
    get the buyer to sign and date the ‘new keeper declaration’
    give the green V5C/2 ‘new keeper’s supplement’ to the buyer
  • Send the V5C registration certificate to the DVLA Sensitive Casework Team. Include a letter explaining your relationship to the person who’s died and date of death.
  • You do not need to transfer the vehicle into your name, this would cause a delay waiting for the V5 to be returned from the DVLA. Adding an extra owner would reduce the vehicles value too.

The car buyer will however, require proof that you are authorised to sell the vehicle in question. This could be a legal letter proving that you are either the executor of the will or the next of kin.

What if I don’t have the logbook?

If you’re transferring the car and can’t find the V5C of the deceased person, then you need to fill out DVLA form V62 in order to obtain a replacement. There is a £25 fee for this, and you can pick up a V62 from a Post Office, or download one.

You should complete the V62 with your details, and send it together with a letter containing the same information as detailed above, to the DVLA Sensitive Casework Team.

How we can help

At Sellyourcar2jack.com we pride ourselves on being able to offer a swift, hassle free and professional service, which is imperative for anyone in this situation.

Being in the motor trade, we are very experienced in dealing with grieving relatives and we endeavour to make the whole process a quick, painless way to sell a car without anyone incurring additional costs or stress at such a difficult time. This can take away the stress and time of trying to sell the car to a private buyer.

You can either contact our team directly or to get a free car valuation and see how much the car is worth, you can go to www.sellyourcar2jack.com (homepage) and enter a couple of details. It’s a very simple process.

To complete the sale to Sell Your Car 2 Jack you will need to provide a copy of the vehicle owner’s Death Certificate. If the official Death Certificate has not been issued, we can accept a copy of the Interim Death Certificate of Coroners Certificate.

You will also need to provide us with a form of legal proof that permits you to sell the vehicle on behalf of the deceased’s estate, for example, if you are named as an executor on the will. If there is more than one executor of the will, we would need all named executors with a copy of all required personal proofs of identification to witness the sale before any agreed payment is made.

One thing you won’t have to do with the additional information that you have provided is the need to put your name in the vehicle log book. This will mean that the value of the vehicle need not be reduced by having extra transfer ownership on the vehicle.

If you have any concerns or questions as to how this process works please do not hesitate to contact us. You can call us on 0121 296 3829 or email us.

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