Named keeper is different from the seller?

This often occurs in the motortrade, usually when purchasing from auction houses the current registered keeper's name will be different. If however  you have been approached by someone who claims to be in the "motortrade" then proceed with caution! The main issue here is whether that person has got authorisation to sell/pass on title of ownership. Relatives of the named keeper should also be dealt with an open mind!
For instance, if Mr P approaches you to purchase a vehicle, the registered keeper happens to be Mrs P, you agree to purchase the vehicle and the purchase price is handed over. Mrs P / the Police then contact you to say the vehicle has been stolen by her husband (they are currently going through a bitter divorce) because Mrs P has not given her consent for title of ownership to be passed. Even though you have paid the purchase price, you are not the legal owner of the goods.

You are then left with no vehicle and out of pocket.
The obvious first check to do is the vehicles history however we often see that these checks have delays when it comes to interests being shown but also check with the named keeper before making any agreement to purchase.


Authors: Roxanne Bradley

Published: 13 Jan 2017


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(cAse SeNSItivE!)

Philip Downing-Young (18/01/2017)
The registered keeper is not necessarly the owner merely. the person Legaly responsible to tax and insure th vehicle, as it Staes on the v 5 it's no reroof of ownership, I have had the Same experience but where the car wa registered in wifes name , and husband tried to claim car reporting stolen four months after I purchased it when he discovered his x wife had sold it. Police very unhelpful, and showed a lack of knowledge re the law . Needless to say I kept title
Andrew (18/01/2017)
So to put a twist on the above case. In this instance Mr Q who is Mrs P's father purchased the vehicle and has the receipt / invoice in his name from the main dealer he purchased it from. It was given to Mr and Mrs P to drive and the logbook is in Mrs P's name. Going on the rule that the keeper in the logbook is not the owner of the vehicle. So Mrs P sells the vehicle on and Mr Q is not delighted with the bitter divorce. When Mr Q finds out his daughter has sold on a valuable asset he wades in and demands his money back. Now Mr Q owns this vehicle? So how on earth as a trader do i find out who really owns the vehicle in the first place? I can only assume the answer is that if i ever wish to buy a vehicle as a trader i would need proof of purchase even if that was ten years ago from the seller. The above scenario hasn't happened to me but nearly happened to a customer of mine. Alarm bells were ringing and i refused to get involved with any of it.
Kevin (18/01/2017)
Don't forget that the Registered Keeper isn't necessarily the 'owner of legal title' , remember the V5C boldly reminds us of this in the blue band across it's front page. Indeed, It's possible that Mr P might be able to evidence that he was in fact the Owner of Title, & that Mrs P's status was merely 'Keeper' & mostly the regular user. Mr P might be a 'thief' but don't discount the notion that Mrs P was using the police disingenuously to further her disagreements with Mr P, she wouldn't be the first to attempt that ! : )
jeepman (18/01/2017)
As always it can be easy to be caught out in this situation. A HPI check would not always show up a stolen vehicle if it had not been reported yet. Also Mrs P although the registered keeper, she may not be the legal owner !

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