Should I worry about an error on my car's registration document?

A reader's new car was incorrectly registered to a finance company instead of her. She asks if this will cause her any problems in the future...

04 July 2019
Is it legal to withhold V5C document?

I bought a new Volvo XC60 from Hatfields in Bury, Greater Manchester, last September. However, a month after taking delivery, I still hadn’t received the V5 document, so I queried this with the dealership. 

It turned out that Volvo had registered the vehicle to the finance company as though it was a contract hire car rather than one that had been purchased. A letter by Volvo to the DVLA resulted in the car being registered in my name, but I am now shown as the second owner and as acquiring the vehicle a month later than was actually the case. 

Volvo XC60 T8 - 68 plate

I've appealed to the DVLA to have the document corrected, but it has been rejected on the grounds that too much time has elapsed from the original registration. It seems to me that they are happy to have an incorrect document in issue rather than go to the trouble of changing it. 

Are there any repercussions on me in this matter over Volvo’s mistake?

Carol Payne

What Car? says…

We’ve spoken to our used car valuation specialists at Cap HPI, and they say the number of owners doesn’t have a massive impact on a car’s second-hand value. 

Cap HPI’s head of UK valuations, Derren Martin, said: “From our perspective, the selling price of a used car is based on its age, mileage and condition. These criteria are taken into account when we produce values of used vehicles, not previous ownership. It is down to the prospective buyer whether they would negotiate on the number of previous owners.” 

So although a car might be more appealing to a prospective buyer if it has had only one owner, it won’t have a big affect on its value. 

Although it’s annoying that your car was incorrectly registered initially, we can’t see any problems that would arise from this in the long term.

If you are concerned about the V5 document being incorrect, we’d suggest you retain written proof of the error to show potential buyers when you come to sell the car. 

Use our free valuation tool to find out how much your car is worth


Best large SUVs and the ones to avoid

For many people, large SUVs have replaced big saloons as the ultimate expression of modern motoring, and they make great family cars, thanks to their spacious and practical interiors.

The best are also easy to drive, combining a calm ride with tidy handling and a lofty driving position with user-friendly controls. But with so many models to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to start, so here we're counting down our top 10 – and we've named the large SUV to avoid, too.

If any of these take your fancy, just click on the relevant link to find out more or see how much of a discount you could get by using What Car?'s New Car Buying service.


10. Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace

Tiguan Allspace

Take the regular Volkswagen Tiguan, add some more space and two extra seats, and hey presto, you've made the Tiguan Allspace. Its high-quality interior and flexible seating are impressive, and it's good to drive.

Read our full Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace review or see our latest deals


9. Volvo XC60

Volvo XC60 2017 side view

Volvo used to be very much a step down from the models of Audi, BMW and Mercedes, both in terms of price and ability, but no longer. The latest XC60 is comfortable, well equipped and has a high-quality interior, plus it won the 2018 What Car? Safety Award, having performed brilliantly when it was crash tested by Euro NCAP.

Pick of the range: D4 Momentum

Read our full Volvo XC60 review or see our latest deals


8. Hyundai Santa Fe

Hyundai Santa Fe side

The Santa Fe is a spacious and practical choice in the large SUV market, with the option of seven seats for larger families. You also get plenty of equipment, with both Premium and Premium SE models coming with plenty of luxuries. We'd stick with SE trim, though, because this gets you everything you're likely to want, including rear parking sensors, dual-zone climate control and 18in alloy wheels.

Pick of the range: 2.2 CRDi 200 Premium 7 Seat

Read our full Hyundai Santa Fe review or see our latest deals

Next: more of our favourite large SUVs >

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It's all based on Target Price, which is the price we think you should pay based on research by our team of mystery shoppers, and the best discounts they can achieve.

If you’re still not sure then our deals team can help; call them on 03302 216207 – lines are open from 8am until 10pm seven days a week.

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