What paperwork do I need when buying a used van?
What paperwork do I need when buying a used van?

What paperwork do I need when buying a used van?


If you are buying a used van privately then there is some paperwork that you will need to sort before you purchase it. Make sure you get this all-in order, otherwise you could be at risk of being unlawful or won’t be covered by insurance if something were to happen. Below are all the relevant documents you will need when buying a used van privately.

Driving license

When you go to purchase the van, ensure that you bring your driving license along. This might be something that the seller wants to see and get a record off. It will prove to them that you are able to drive and also that you are who you say you are. It is always advised to keep this on your person when driving in case stopped by the authorities.


Although you don’t need to have insurance to buy a van, you will need it if you are driving it anywhere after the purchase, even if it is a short journey. You are only legally allowed to drive the vehicle on roads once you have insured it. We recommend using Confused.com to find the best price for car insurance.

Vehicle tax

When you buy a used van, their tax won’t transfer onto you. This means you need to set up your own vehicle and road tax before you can drive it anywhere. You can do this online on the government website, by post, or by calling the DVLA which has a 24/7 phone service. Once you have bought the van the seller will provide you with a ‘new keeper’ slip. On this, you will need the 12-digit reference number to tax your van.

Finance and payment documents

You need to make sure that you have all the relevant paperwork to make the payment. If you have taken out a loan for this vehicle, make sure you have the paperwork stored away safely so you can refer back to it whenever you need to. If you are looking for van finance, you can apply quick and easily through CarFinance 247.

What information do I need from the seller?


The most important thing you need to get off the seller, is the green V5 section slip. This will help you prove that you are now the new registered keeper of the van and will be useful to keep hold of in case any legal issues arise in the future. If the seller has lost the logbook, you are able to apply for a replacement by using the V62 form.

The seller’s details

If possible, you should take down the details of the seller’s name and address. Before you purchase the van, you should check whether these details match up to the V5C logbook. If it doesn’t, then this isn’t normal and you need to ask some questions, as this could indicate that the van has been stolen or isn’t theirs to sell. If any other details you find on the V5C don’t match the van you are buying including the Vehicle Identification Number and engine number, then you need to ask the seller why.

Service and MOT history

Before you buy the van, you need to have a look at what service history the van has. Ask to see any receipts or information from these services including MOTs. If the seller doesn’t have all of the information then that isn’t a problem, but you do definitely need to see proof that the van has had its most recent MOT and when that occurred. Look at the last MOT to see how it faired in its last check. If there are a lot of advisories, then you need to understand that these will be added costs in the future. If there are recurring issues with the van in its service history, you need to think about whether it is worth it to purchase a vehicle that might be faulty and therefore cost you a lot in the future. It is always worth purchasing a vehicle history check to see if the vehicle has any hidden history.

Receipt of purchase

Once the purchase has been made you need to ensure that you get a receipt with a copy for both you and the seller. This should contain information on the price of the sale, when has happened, the van’s specifications, and details of both you and the seller. It should be signed by both of you and kept as proof of purchase and payment. This will help settle any disputes that may come up in the future.

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