Documents to Check when Buying a Used Car

Apart from being available at lower prices, buying a used car after consulting some well-reputed used car dealers, provides you with various other benefits.  Some of these include getting your dream car at almost half its original price and significantly lesser maintenance charges.  In fact, there are also policies for car dealership no credit bad credit when you are running low on money. 

However, before you put your money into any second-hand automobile,  it is crucial to have a good idea about all the documents needed to buy a car. Therefore,   in this article, we have mentioned everything that you need to know about important car selling documents. 

Documents Needed To Buy A Car: 8 Essential Papers To Check Beforehand 

Here are 8 vital car sale documents that you must check while purchasing any used car. 

  1. Driver’s License
  2. Car Registration Certificate
  3. Car Tax Certificate
  4. Receipt of Purchase
  5. Service Book
  6. All the Documents related to the Car’s Insurance 
  7. Certificate of Transfer of Ownership
  8. Car Invoice

Out of these,  the ones which contain the maximum importance and should never be neglected are discussed in detail below. 

Log Book or V5C

Also called V5C, a log book, or simply the registration document, the car registration certificate is one of the most crucial car selling documents. It contains critical and detailed information about the car’s owner (both past, and current owner).

The registration document mentions the name and details of the seller along with the vehicle’s identification number.  You must carefully check that all these details are up to date before making the final purchase. 

The transfer of ownership certificate is a sub-component of the log book, certified proof that stands as hard-core evidence and declares you as the car’s sole owner.

To complete your legal purchase,  getting the transfer ownership of the car is highly essential.  

All the Documents related to the Car’s Insurance 

When it comes to checking the documents needed to buy a car, the car’s insurance should be your second most important priority. 

That is because it provides you with the following data: 

  • Information about whether the car’s previous owner has claimed the insurance or not. 
  • It clearly tells you whether the car you are purchasing has ever been in an accident or not. 

Getting your hands on car insurance documents will also save you from financial troubles that might occur because of any tragedy like a road accident that might occur in the future. 

Service Book

Popularly called the blue book,  the service book is the third in the list of the most crucial car sale documents that you must inspect thoroughly before you buy used car.  It gives you a detailed record of all the services that the car you are purchasing has already availed. 

Likewise,  it also makes you aware of whether the vehicle has been properly maintained by its previous owner or not.  Thus, it ensures that you do not purchase a car that hasn’t been kept well and have the chance of getting easily damaged with minor usage. 

Here is a quick list of the service history details which you can get to know from a service book: 

  • Write Off History 
  • Tax Cost
  • Outstanding Finance
  • Tax Status
  • Damage History
  • Stolen Status 
  • Export Check 
  • Import Check
  • Mot Status
  • Yearly Fuel Cost
  • Environmental And Economy-Related Data

Road Tax Receipt

When someone purchases a new car,  there is a one-time tax that he/she needs to pay immediately at the time of purchase. 

Your duty as the buyer of any used car is to carefully examine the presence of the road tax receipt because it is one of the mandatory documents to buy a car.

The reason behind its importance is that if you do not check the road tax receipt properly, all the penalties due (by the previous owner) will come onto your head, leading to a financial burden. 


Other additional documents which you must properly examine before buying a used car include its pollution certificate, clearance certificate, mot certificate, bill of sale, form 28, no objection certificate, and the car’s invoice.  

Regardless of whether you are purchasing a used car directly from its owner or from any used car dealer,  checking all the car selling documents and gaining knowledge about the documents needed to buy a car is very important. If you miss out on any minor details,  it can land you not only into financial but also legal trouble. 


Q1. What is the importance of getting the receipt of purchase while buying a used car? 

Ans. Irrespective of who you are purchasing the car from,  if you get the receipt of purchase,  your deal gets solid proof that you have completed the payment to the seller. It serves as a security option that confirms that all transactions have been successfully made between the buyer and the seller. 

Q2. What does the certificate of car roadworthiness state? 

Ans. The car roadworthiness certificate justifies that all the parts of your car such as its lights, seats, windshields, wheels, brakes, etc meet the safety standards.  Hence,  it makes sure that you can safely drive your car on any road. 

Q3. Can I purchase a used car if I don’t have a driver’s license? 

Ans. Different vehicles need different kinds of driver’s licenses.  So,   it is mandatory for you to own the correct type of driver’s license in order to purchase your desired car regardless of whether you are buying a used car or a new one. 

Q4. How to know whether the car I am purchasing is in good condition or not? 

Ans. For this,  you need to check the service book and the history of services which the car has availed given in that.  From the recorded information,  you can easily get to know whether the vehicle has been maintained properly or not. 


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