What Is Proof Of Ownership Of A Car?

A common misconception that many people assume is that your car’s log book (V5C) is proof of ownership but this isn’t the case. Within this article, we walk you through what is proof of ownership of a car and the difference between the registered keeper and owner.

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what is proof of ownership of a car
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Whether you own your car outright or it’s subject to a finance or lease agreement, when it comes to the legal owner of the car, most people assume it’s the person that appears as the registered keeper on the log book (V5C). Although this may be the case most of the time, there are many scenarios where it may not be the case such as:

  • A company car (owned by the company and not the employee)
  • A car that’s subject to a finance or lease agreement
  • A car bought by someone else (i.e. your parents as your first car)

It’s important to note that if the registered keeper and owner differ, both parties have their own responsibilities with regards to the car as we discuss below.

Is A Log Book Proof Of Ownership?

A log book (V5C) isn’t proof of ownership and this is clearly stated in capital letters on the document (as shown underlined in the image below). The purpose of a log book is to simply state who is the registered keeper (along with the car’s details) and this may not be the owner of the car.

For example, if you drive a company car on a daily basis, the company wouldn’t be named as the registered keeper on the V5C but you would be as the employee that drives the car. However, this doesn’t mean that you are the owner because the company are the legal owners unless the car is subject to a finance or lease agreement.

proof of ownership car

Owner vs Registered Keeper

The registered keeper of a car is someone that appears on the log book and uses the car on a day-to-day basis. The owner on the other hand is the person (or company) that purchased (or was gifted) the vehicle in the first place. Commonly, the registered keeper and owner is the same person but if it isn’t, both have their own responsibilities.

For example, a registered keeper is responsible for taxing and insuring the car as well as ensuring it has a valid MOT certificate. The registered keeper will also be the first point of call for police enquiries, speeding or parking tickets too.

With regards to the owner, they are responsible for ensuring that the car is fully insured if they give someone else permission to drive it.

If you are the owner of a car that someone else drives regularly, it’s advised that you put their name on the V5C as the registered keeper. This can be achieved online and the new log book can arrive at your door in as little as 5 days.

How To Prove Ownership Of A Car

If your log book isn’t proof of ownership of a car, you may be wondering what is? In short, to prove ownership of a car, you’ll need a receipt/invoice from when you bought it and this is often referred to as a “bill of sale”.

In terms of the details you require upon the receipt/invoice, we would advise that the following is included:

  • Make and model of the car
  • VIN number
  • Registration number
  • Date of sale
  • Amount paid
  • Method of payment
  • Buyer and seller signatures

As mentioned above, the log book isn’t proof of ownership and you are within your rights to reject it as proof of ownership. Therefore, regardless of who you are dealing with as the seller, always request a receipt/invoice.


Proofing ownership of a car can be crucial if you are dealing with speeding or parking fines. Therefore, it’s important that as the owner of a car, you ensure that all the car’s paperwork is up to date.

Hopefully the above guide has covered everything you need to know regarding proofing ownership of a car. However, if you require further information, feel free to get in touch and we will try to provide our assistance where possible.

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