If you’ve ever bought or sold a vehicle, the chances are you’ve encountered the term logbook.

Sometimes referred to as a V5C document, a vehicle logbook certifies that you are the registered keeper of the vehicle. As the registered keeper, it is your responsibility to register and tax the vehicle as and when it’s necessary.

Buying and selling vehicles

The logbook is an important document that should be kept in a safe place. Many choose to keep theirs in the glove compartment or in a file along with all other vehicle documents.

If you’re ever selling your car, or buying a used vehicle, you should always ensure the logbook is present at the point of sale.

If a seller cannot provide the vehicle logbook, then this is a red flag. It may be that they’ve taken out a logbook loans against the value of the car.

Logbook loans

Logbook loans are a type of personal finance where the borrower secures the loan against their vehicle. In exchange, the lender holds the vehicle logbook until the loan is completed and all payments have been made.

Logbook lenders historically operated on the high street, however there are now several lenders operating online.

With a logbook loan, you can borrow anything from £500 to £50,000 depending on the value of your car. Lenders will typically offer loans of between 50% and 100% of the vehicle value.

As the loan is secured, lenders will be able to accept those with some adverse credit history.

Missing payments on logbook loans

If a borrower misses a payment or defaults on a logbook loan, the lender has the right to repossess the car.

This means if you’ve purchased a used car that currently has a logbook loan secured against it, you could find bailiffs at your door if the original owned fails to make the repayments.

Checking the details on the logbook

It is also worth checking that all the details on the logbook are present and correct. Namely, you should ensure that the VIN (vehicle identification number) matches that of the vehicle that you’re buying.

When buying a used car, both the seller and buyer will need to fill in certain sections to transfer of ownership. On completion of the sale, the new owner will receive an updated logbook as proof of ownership.


The logbook is essentially a document that proves ownership of a vehicle. It is an important document that should be kept safe throughout the entire ownership of a vehicle.

Logbook loans allow you to borrow money against the value of your vehicle. They hold the logbook as security for the loan. If you default on a logbook loan the lender may repossess the vehicle to recover the debt.

If you’re buying a used car, always check that the logbook is present and the details on the logbook are all correct.


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