Fleet News

A year on and fleets still have V5 blues

By David Hill, senior editor, CAP Red Book

'BACK at the start of this year I wrote in Fleet Van about the imminent new licensing rules which spelled the end of taxing vehicles without a V5 document.

Based on my research around the trade at the time, I suggested that a van without the V5 would suffer a value penalty of £300 to £500 owing to the fact that there could be no guarantee of when the vehicle could be legally driven again.

We have subsequently researched the outcome of this issue through observation at open sales and directly with major disposers and verified the original predicted impact of a missing V5.

Among the van disposals experts we have spoken to is XBG Remarketing, which says it will always try to avoid selling anything without a log book unless circumstances dictate otherwise.

In its experience, a missing log book means a market value £300 to £500 behind book on an otherwise desirable van.

My disposals colleagues at Lloyds TSB revealed that they have a 'no log book – not for sale' policy now, having experienced financial penalties for a missing V5 of around £450. The view here is in agreement with most in that the trade is no longer interested when they find that documents are even temporarily absent.

The only exceptions are especially unusual or desirable vehicles or, of course, if there is a postal strike and a replacement cannot be guaranteed for a specific date.

At Lex, the return of vans without documents were described by one member of staff as 'the bane of my life' and the general rule applied is 'no log book, no sale'. On a typical day, with 90 vans offered to the trade, there are generally up to 5% with missing documents. Lex agreed with the financial penalties predicted on this page nearly 12 months ago and this has since been confirmed around the industry.

Because time is so often of the essence in disposals, many have been glad to use the fast track method of obtaining a replacement. This involves the disposer making a declaration to DVLA that they or the owner no longer have any further interest in the vehicle. And in turn the time taken to issue a replacement is dramatically reduced because the authorities are already aware of the vehicle's status.

However, a warning note is sounded on over-use of this resource and it is expected that a charge of £19 will be levied from next year on the issuing of duplicate V5s. This is undoubtedly still preferable than a wait for up to six weeks for the duplicate but still there is no substitute for a rigorous procedure on documentation to ensure the maximising of disposal values.

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