As we begin to feel the impact of the recession lessen one of the first things many people do is upgrade their vehicle. However, there are number of pitfalls you should bear in mind.  One of the most important of these is change of ownership.  If you sell/trade in your vehicle you must register the change of ownership immediately. This is governed by the Road Vehicles (Registration and Licensing) (Amendment) Regulations. Failure to register the change exposes you to the risk of being liable for various road traffic offences.  There are two methods of sale that require different obligations.

Sale/Trade In to a Motor Dealer:

In this situation you and the motor dealer must :

  • Complete a form RF105 which is available from the dealer or is available to be down loaded.
  • You should present the vehicle registration certificate (log book) to the dealer.
  • If the dealer is enabled to notify the change of ownership over the internet (large dealers have this facility) no further action is required on your part.  You should clarify that the dealer can do this.
  • If the dealer is not enabled to notify the change of ownership you must send the RF105 to the Department of Transport in Shannon.
  • Remember the responsibility to send the form rests entirely with you the Vendor. It is important that you clarify that the dealer is enabled to notify the change of ownership over the internet, if not you must ensure that you send the form to Shannon.

Private Sale:

This is where most people get caught.

Firstly, private sales can be particularly vulnerable to criminal activity.  Such sales appeal to criminals due to the ease at which transactions can arranged with little to no paper trail using cash. They may seek the vehicle registration certificate (log book) assuring you they will complete it. The main motivation is to use the vehicle for criminal activity by either being used during the commission of a crime or being passed on to another unsuspecting purchaser. The car you are selling may already be online being offered for a quick and cheap sale before the ink is dry.

Secondly, some criminals may use fake bank draft or cheques to secure the sale.

There are a number of ways you can protect yourself against such situations:

  • Get all relevant bank details, including draft details, from the purchaser in advance so that they can be verified.
  • Meet in a public place, and preferably not alone.
  • Ask for photo ID from the purchaser.
  • Ensure all relevant details are filled out on the vehicle registration certificate (log book) and it is signed on the reverse. Retain it so that you can send it to the Department of Transport in Shannon. This should be done immediately and it is your responsibility as seller to ensure that it is completed correctly.
  • The Department of Transport in Shannon will record the buyer as the registered owner of the vehicle and a new vehicle registration certificate will issue.

And finally:

If you move address there is an obligation on you to keep your particulars with the Department of Transport in Shannon up to date otherwise you could receive notices at your old address that may not be forwarded to you and you could face a criminal prosecution.

You should seek legal advice or contact the Motor Taxation Office to swear an Affidavit confirming that you sold the vehicle.