Buying a used car can be a complicated process that requires a lot of research and preparation to ensure you get a good deal. One of the essential things to keep in mind is to ask for and verify all the necessary documents before making the purchase. This blog post will guide you through the essential documents that you should get when buying a used car in the UK.

Close up of a V5

V5C or Logbook

The V5C or logbook is the most important document that proves ownership of the vehicle. It contains important details such as the registered keeper's name and address, colour, and engine size. Always check that the details on the V5C match the seller's name, address, and registration number of the car. Also, ensure that the document is the current version as newer versions have enhanced security features.

MOT Certificate

The MOT certificate proves that the car has passed a yearly inspection that tests for roadworthiness and emissions. Always check the MOT certificate's date and ensure that it is valid at the time of the sale. Also, check the car's history to verify that it has passed previous MOT tests without any significant issues.

Service History

A complete service history is an important document that shows the car's maintenance record and if any necessary repairs were carried out. It should include receipts for parts and labour, as well as details of any warranty work carried out. Always review the service history to ensure the car has been well maintained and to identify any outstanding issues.

HPI Check Report

A HPI check report provides peace of mind that the car has no outstanding finance, is not stolen, and does not have a recorded history of being an insurance write-off. You can order an HPI check report online, and it will typically cost around £20.


Buying a used car can be a daunting task, but with the right knowledge and preparation, it can be a simple process. Always ensure to ask the seller for all the necessary documents and establish the car's history before making the purchase. Verification of the car's documents can save you from buying a stolen vehicle or one that has outstanding finance. Remember, always keep your safety in mind and happy motoring!



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