Often think that the registered keeper and the owner of a car are the same thing

Most people - rightly so - often think that the registered keeper and the owner of a car are the same thing. However, there is often a difference, and this is one which is important to be aware of. So while you might believe that the registered keeper of a car is also its owner that might not be the case. Here, we’re going to find out the differences.


What does it mean when someone is the registered keeper of a car?

The registered keeper of a car will be the person who is using and keeping it each day. So if you’ve parked it on the drive and used it to get about, you’ll be the registered keeper. It’ll also be the case that your name is on the V5C logbook and you’ll be in charge of taxing and insuring it as well as keeping it within its MOT.

If any speeding or parking offences occur with the car, the registered keeper will be the first person that the authorities will get in touch with.

So how does the owner of the car differ?

Though more often than not the keeper of the car is the same as its official owner, that isn’t always the case. Take company cars for instance; the owner is the company or business, while the registered keeper is the employee who uses the vehicle. The car was bought and paid for by the company, so they’re the official owner. It is, however, down to the owner to make sure that the person driving the car has insurance.

The vehicle’s registration documents will also need to be adjusted to reflect this position to ensure that the owner - rather than the registered keeper - isn’t liable for parking tickets or speeding points. Owners will need to make sure that they have proof of purchase in order to prove that they’re the actual owners, too.

Is it easy to change the registered keeper of the car?

Thankfully, it’s not tricky at all and is much the same as what you’d need to do if you’d sold the vehicle. If you want to do this via post, you’ll need the V5C logbook. Fill in the section for transferring the vehicle to a new keeper as well as the green keeper slip. Hand this latter form to the person who is becoming the new keeper and post the rest to the DVLA.

Going online is a slightly simpler method. Take the 11 digit reference number from the V5C logbook and the new keeper slip, using that number on the https://www.gov.uk/ website to fill out a transfer of ownership form. Once that’s done, a new logbook will automatically get posted out to the new keeper. Before that, make sure you give the green keeper slip to the new keeper and destroy the rest of the logbook.

What if I need to change the owner?

If you need to change ownership of your car then you’ll need to give the new buyer a receipt or proof of purchase to show that they’re now the new owners. This will need to have some key information in it such as the car’s make and model, its registration and VIN numbers, and the date it was sold. The amount that was paid for it should also be included.

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