Should I buy a pre-registered car?

You're being offered a great discount on a nearly new car that's been pre-registered by the dealer. Should you buy it?...

Should I buy a pre-registered car?

Plenty of motorists save cash by buying pre-registered cars, but there are some potential pitfalls that you should be aware of.

Check that you'll be getting the car's V5 registration document when you buy because this piece of paperwork is evidence that you're the car's registered keeper.

The V5 should be given to you immediately, and you should then notify the DVLA that youre the owner as soon as possible.

However, some dealers will tell you that they have to hold onto it to comply with rules that demand pre-registered cars are kept for three months before being sold on. If a dealer tells you this, we'd advise walking away, because the risks in buying without a V5 far outweigh any potential savings on price.

Without the car's V5C, you may not be able to get insurance for the car, and any cover you do get might be invalid.

If you're stopped by the police, you'll also be unable to produce all of the necessary documentation, and this will mean you having to jump through bureaucratic hoops over ownership of the car.

There is also the risk that the dealer could go out of business before the three-month wait is up, and this would make it difficult for you to get the car's V5 at all.

Read more – How to buy a car

Read more – Dealing with paperwork when buying a new car

Read more – Is it legal to withold V5 document?

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