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Buyer of my car sold my private vehicle registration

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Hi Guys. Hope some one can answer this for me.


I recently sold a car which had my private reg on it.

The deal was for me to send off the V5c form and the relevant form plus fee to allow me to retain the reg number.

the car would then return to is original historic number. 

The new owner has signed the receipt which clearly stated this. 


We are still awaiting the retention certificate from Dvla.

They are 6 weeks behind on this.

We supplied the new owner with a set of original number plates ready for when the log book arrives with the original reg number on it.

There has been an SMS conversation also which I still have.

he was fully aware and fully agreed to this.

See the receipt. 


Yesterday we learned he has sold the car on with our reg number on to a car dealer who knows nothing of my arrangements with the the guy I sold it to.

Now I believe he has done nothing wrong.

He bought the car in good faith but has been stung by my buyer.

Also trader was unaware of any issues with the car.


We sold it with issues and our buyer is fully aware of them.

the trader has been mis sold the car.


Am I correct in thinking that this is theft by my buyer and if the trader sells that car with my plates on then he is a party to that that theft.

Its all complicated but I am in the belief that the private reg is legally still mine.

As far as I am aware the reg transfer is going forward although they haven't cashed my cheque yet.

But Dvla are slow at doing that anyway. 


I have included a copy of the receipt. 

Any help or advice would be appreciated. 





TOTALLY debt free as of 2007, Fantastic,

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I'm responding to this quickly and I don't have time to consider exactly what the situation is and what is your position but I would certainly make sure that the dealer who currently owns the vehicle is informed and is put on notice that effectively the car registration number has been stolen and that he should not take any steps to sell the vehicle while the matter is being investigated.

you should put him on notice in writing and make sure that the letters is delivered by fully tracked next day delivery post. warm the deal and the although you understand that he is not responsible, now that he is on notice, if he resolves the vehicle without registration number then the police will be informed.

also you should inform the police immediately and get a crime reference number which you should supply to the dealer. Also supply it to the DVLA.


you should also send a full copies of your correspondence to the person to whom you sold the vehicle and who agreed that they would not dispose of the registration number.

you need to make sure that this issue is ramped up in as extreme way as possible so that all parties are aware of the seriousness of what is happening.




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What troubles me is the ownership of the number. I can't imagine you actually own it.

you simply have a right to use it. however it seems from the DVLA that you also have a right to assign it elsewhere and also there is a right of retention.


Take a private number off (‘retention’)

If you do not want to use your private number anymore you can apply to take it off your vehicle. You can keep the number (put it ‘on retention’) to use later.

You’ll get a V778 retention document proving you still have the right to use the number.



Have you started the process of completing a v778 document?

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We already spoke to the police and now they are aware of it.


I tried calling my buyer yesterday and went straight to VM as did the trader.

My buyer has literally just called me and said he told the trader the plates were not included.

But that's not what the trader thinks.


Hopefully he is getting the picture that we are not letting this go.

Will post the letters today.

Thanks BF 😁


TOTALLY debt free as of 2007, Fantastic,

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Retention of a plate is usually straight forward. Done online is seconds. But sometimes has to be done via post. So chirrished plate goes on retention and original plate goes onto the car you are selling. Can be done when V5c is submitted when Carbis sold. Like we did

TOTALLY debt free as of 2007, Fantastic,

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of course you have been here for quite a long time so you are recording your calls so you are able to produce the recording of the call to the trader so that he understands the position better. Bravo

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they also seems to me there in order for the number to be transferred to another person that it has to be assigned. If it hasn't been assigned then it might eventually revert to DVLA.

so it also seems to me that you should write to the trader immediately and point out that it has not been assigned and that there is no written assignment in existence and so therefore he does not have the right to transfer the number of the vehicle to anyone without the assignment.

also send them a copy of the form that you have used to register the retention so that he can never say that he wasn't completely aware of what the position was


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Don't most people usually put the "personal" plate on retention first, and then sell the vehicle with the original plate back on?


Was there a reason you couldn't do that?  (eg because of Covid delays DVLA advised you to sell it first and then sort out the plates afterwards?).


Sorry if I'm misunderstanding the usual process regarding personal plates, but that's what I understand my neighbour does, and obviously you keep control of the registration.  (I don't think you ever "own" it, so it can't be stolen from you.  Lots of people lose personal plates because they don't get the process right or don't take the steps in the right order.)

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5 hours ago, baconbuttyman said:

Retention of a plate is usually straight forward. Done online is seconds. But sometimes has to be done via post. So chirrished plate goes on retention and original plate goes onto the car you are selling. Can be done when V5c is submitted when Carbis sold. Like we did


But is that what you did?  I understand you sold the car before putting the personal plate on retention?


I can see that it was your intention to keep the personal plate (and presumably the buyer agreed to that) but have you gone the right way about it?  I may be wrong, but I think you've made it a bit complicated for yourself... 


You may have some contractual claim against your buyer but I'm not convinced they've committed an offence.  I'm not convinced you can get the registration back either.  Depends on DVLA rules - which I admit I do not understand.  (Or you may have to buy it back from the dealer.  I don't know).


[Apologies for additional post - I was too late to edit previous]

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I've removed the pdf in your first post because someone sharp-eyed has noticed that your name is in the letter at least twice. Please edit it and repost.



Illegitimi non carborundum




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please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..


DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs


NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..


If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 



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