Registered Keeper vs. Car Owner

The registered keeper is the driver who is responsible for taxing, insuring and has proper MOT. So, who is precisely the car owner? The vehicle owner is the one who has bought the vehicle or got it as a gift; it could be a person or a company.

The common myth is that the registered keeper is also the car owner. However, the V5C registration document clearly highlights, “THIS DOCUMENT IS NOT PROOF OF OWNERSHIP.” Let’s dig in to know the owner and keeper of the vehicle.

Who is the registered keeper of the vehicle?

The V5C only mentions the registered keeper, meaning the one who drives the car daily and is responsible for the following:

  • To register, tax, and insure the vehicle
  • Pay for parking tickets as well as for motoring violations
  • Making sure the car has a valid MOT
  • Speeding fines
  • Road traffic accidents

The registered keeper is the contact person for the Police for any enquiry they may have. The owner may or may not be the registered keeper.

For instance, a firm buys a car for their employee or a family member (father, mother, etc.) bought a car for their child who drives it daily purpose. The other family member is then the registered keeper and is responsible for the vehicle.

Collect the information about your chosen vehicle from our keeper’s history check report that helps in revealing the detailed information of UK registered cars.

Who is the car “registered owner”?

In simple words, the car owner is the one who legally owns the vehicle. It is not something you register with any UK agency; instead, it is a purchase contract or a receipt of payment from a finance company.

It is worth mentioning here, the V5C document (logbook) does not state the name of the current vehicle owner. It only cites the name of the ‘registered keeper,’ who accede liability for use/misuse of the vehicle on public roads.

The keeper may also be the owner. If the vehicle is on finance, then it is obvious the finance company is the owner.

Hence buyers should try to know who owns the vehicle before as it might affect the resale value in future.

how to find owner of the car

Then, what details registration certificate holds?

DVLA issued the vehicle registration document after you (as an owner) bought the car. Also known as ‘logbook,’ it features red, blue, pink, and yellow colours and remains with you throughout your ownership.

The registration document has the following information about your car,

  • Date of first registration
  • Present Registered Keeper
  • Earlier Registered Keeper
  • Vehicle details encompassing the model, vehicle tax class, engine size, VIN/Chassis/Frame number, and colour.

When you want to sell the vehicle, you need to hand over the green ‘new keeper’s details’ slip (V5C/2) to the new keeper. Hence, while buying the vehicle, ensure you receive the V5C/2.

If the registered keeper or vehicle needs an alteration, fill the form & send it to DVLA. The registration document also features segments to fill out in case the car goes for scrap or export.

Recommended for you: Know what does the online report reveals about the owner

How to change the registered keeper of a car?

You must be the vehicle’s current “keeper” to change the car registered keepers. If it is a private sale changing registered keeper means switching the legal ownership to the new owner.

Here are simple steps to keep in mind while transferring the ownership:

  • You can transfer keepership/ownership by filling out section 6 of the V5C form and providing all the necessary details. You can directly post the document to the DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1BA.
  • However, before dispatching the document to the DVLA, make sure both the registered keeper and the new keeper sign the certificate.
  • You can perform keeper/ownership transfer online on the DVLA website. The process is different for a motor trader.
  • Also, the new keeper should fill in section 10 or (V5C/2). As someone keen to take car ownership, till you receive the new V5C, you own this, informing you’re registered keeper of the car.

Be alert, as there is a chance of the seller faking the registration document to earn profit out of the car, which has many owners or the owner who is eager to sell instead of scrapping.


We should also not mix up the registered keeper with the owner. A car can change its keeper without changing its ownership. However, whenever a car sells, it has to change the owner. It is quite tricky to find the owner of the car by registration number as the authority still lies with DVLA for reasonable cause.

We at Car Analytics highly recommend checking the number of car keepers before your purchase. It will save you from fraud and help you determine whether the car is reliable or not. A car changing multiple owners in a short time is a huge red flag.