According to a BBC investigation, buyers of nearly new cars are being affected by some dealers keeping hold of the log book for a period of time after the vehicle has been sold.
According to the investigation, log book delays can cause a problem when it comes to getting tax, sorting out parking permits and even speeding fines being sent to the wrong address – although, I do not see what the problem is with that, to be honest!
The problem arises where dealers are incentivised to sell excess stock of pre-registered cars at a discounted price. The caveat being that the effectively brand-new cars with delivery mileage on the speedo, are supposed to be kept off the road for 90 days after being registered before being sold.
However, dealers are selling the cars on to new buyers almost straight away, while remaining registered at a different address. The new buyers are told that the car will be registered in their name in due course – approximately 90 days, it would seem.
Obviously, there is a grey area with the log book because it clearly states that it indicates who the keeper of the vehicle is, not the owner, but it seems it still can cause an issue with things like taxing the car as it remains registered as off the road by the dealer.
Further difficulties can arise when it comes to insuring the vehicle, as most will require you to disclose the details of both the owner and the keeper. Failure to do so were you to have an accident in the car, could result in red faces all round.
You can be fairly sure that the insurance company will not pay out if they can find a way of avoiding it. Grey areas and small print being top of their wriggling out of paying list!
The moral of the story is, if you are buying a nearly new car, make sure that the dealer has fulfilled their obligation to keep it off of the road for the correct amount of time.
Use a bit of common sense and if you are buying a nearly new car do not walk out of the dealership until the log book has been transferred into your name. It can be done online in a matter of minutes, simple really!