Why are some of my car's previous owners missing from the V5C?

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Q. The original logbook of my 3.4-litre Jaguar Mk 2 shows three previous owners. The car was bought new in 1961, changed hands in 1963 and then in 1965 was bought by a “Mr S”, from whose estate I purchased it. However, the V5C registration certificate issued when I bought the car shows just one previous owner: Mr S. Did the DVLA start recording previous owners at some time between 1963 and 1966, or is it simply an administrative error? TS, Southampton

A. Local authorities used to be responsible for the registration of vehicles. In the early 1970s, however, a centralised licensing system was introduced by the precursor of the DVLA, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Centre (DVLC), and owners were asked to provide details of their vehicles.

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The DVLC was able to record only the information as provided, though, so in some cases, where changes of owner occurred before the 1970s and the DVLC was not informed, these will not appear on the vehicle registration certificate.

This is almost certainly why there is a discrepancy between your Jaguar’s V5C and the original logbook.

Sunday Times Driving Car Clinic: Emma Smith, consumer advice

Emma Smith is a journalist specialising in consumer issues and is a regular Driving contributor – read more from Emma here.


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