One of the most common mistakes we’ve seen when people buy or sell a vehicle is the transfer of ownership. This can range from a simple mistake, a mix-up of responsibilities or just plain old criminal intent.
When a vehicle is sold you must transfer the legal responsibility for it to the new owner – called the registered owner. This can be done easily in Ireland by filling out the back of the vehicle logbook (the RF101 aka Vehicle Registration Certificate) with the details of the new owner and then both parties signing it.
The two main problems that can befall buyers and sellers are failing to send the logbook to the NVDF (National Vehicle & Driver File) and incorrectly filling out the form.
As a seller your big pitfall is failing to send the logbook to the NVDF. Sometimes a con artist may try to pressure you into handing over the logbook when they pay for the car. NEVER DO THIS. They will most likely never register the car in their name and will continue driving it around and racking up fines in your name for which you are now legally responsible.
To avoid this make sure to ask for identification such as a driving licence and check that it matches the name and address of the buyer. Then send the logbook to the NVDF YOURSELF.
As a buyer, make sure that you put the correct details on the logbook and sign in the correct position. If you make a mistake here you may not have full legal ownership of the vehicle you buy! When the seller sends the logbook to the NVDF it shouldn’t take longer than a couple of weeks to receive the new one in your name. In the meantime, you can check if they have sent the logbook by heading over to http://www.motortax.ie, selecting the Vehicle Transaction Enquiry option and entering the vehicle registration number. It will show if or when the change of ownership was received.
We can provide a sample contract for both parties that makes this process easier and more accountable for both sides – just tweet us @TrustHubHQ for a copy!