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Buying a vehicle without logbook ?

  • 28-01-2022 2:39pm
    Registered Users Posts: 602 ✭✭✭ bertie 56

    Hi there,

    I'm looking at buying a minibus ( to be later converted in camper ).

    The current owner doesn't have the logbook and apparently never had it. He bought the minibus 5 months ago only and now try to sell it back . I've checked with the Motortax office, he is the official owner of the vehicle.

    Is it risky for me to buy this vehicle from him ? Will I be able to get the logbook under my name ?

    Any suggestion ?




  • Registered Users Posts: 3,552 ✭✭✭ User1998

  • Registered Users Posts: 50,430 ✭✭✭✭ bazz26

    If he is the official owner of the vehicle then why doesn't he just follow the process for getting a replacement logbook? Buyer shouldn't have to do the legwork here.

  • Registered Users Posts: 602 ✭✭✭ bertie 56

    Thanks you both for the answers.

    When I asked the owner why he doesn't have the log book, he told me that he doesn't have the license to drive the minibus ( it's a 19 seats one ) .

    Therefore, he can't insure it, which mean he can't tax it, which mean he can't get the logbook.

    Does his answer make sense ?

    ( I'm interesed in the answer for myself too, since I don't have the minibus driving license neither . But I intend to drive it only when it will be changed as a camper )

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,552 ✭✭✭ User1998

    It does makes sense because it asks for insurance details when you try tax a vehicle.

    But you can just enter 12345 or whatever and it will still work, so maybe tell him to do that and get the logbook sent out

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,309 ✭✭✭ gipi

    I recently bought a vintage car, that the previous owner imported and VRTed (so it has an Irish reg).

    He declared it off road, never taxed it, so never got a logbook. He was the registered owner.

    When I taxed it, the logbook was issued to me about a week later

    Is the van declared off road?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 602 ✭✭✭ bertie 56

    Yes, it's true for the insurance details when you fill the road tax form.

    But I still have a doubt about having to pay the road tax before having the logbook changed . I thought it would be the other way around : you change ownership first, and pay your road tax after . No ?

  • Registered Users Posts: 602 ✭✭✭ bertie 56

    Thanks for your answer, Gipi. I don't know for the " off road " , but I could ask him, yes. ( It's Irish reg too, BTW )

    When you asked for the logbook yourself, did you have to pay any road tax before receiving the new logbook ?

  • Registered Users Posts: 50,430 ✭✭✭✭ bazz26

    What sounds like what happened here is that the seller imported the minibus, paid the VRT and registered it but then never taxed it or declared it off the road immediately. On a freshly registered vehicle the logbook will only be issued after the vehicle is taxed for the first time. So if the seller goes to tax it now in order to get the logbook issued then they maybe liable for tax arears for the last 5 months.

    You could try applying for the logbook using the method in the link User1998 posted above but I have no idea if that will work in this situation. Personally I would not buy a vehicle from a seller who doesn't have the proper vehicle registration documents for it. There is just too much of that carry on going on these days from clever or lazy sellers just not wanting to do it. If it were me I'd tell them to sort out the vehicle documentation first and then I'll buy the vehicle from them.

  • Registered Users Posts: 73,040 ✭✭✭✭ colm_mcm

    Couple of things to watch for here.

    Aside from the obvious red flag of no logbook.

    Watch the GVW of the bus, it’s likely to be over 3.5t. Make sure your license covers this. Obvs to drive it as-is you’ll need the correct licence too, regardless of how many seats are left in it.

    also be aware that the VRT on a minibus is small, so you’ll be liable for almost the full whack of camper VRT when you register it. A smaller minibus would pay high VRT upfront so usually wouldn’t be liable for VRT again when regged as a camper (usually talking smaller stuff like Vito/Transporter )

  • Registered Users Posts: 602 ✭✭✭ bertie 56

    Thanks you all for your help.

    I discovered after that with the mileage check that this minibus had been clocked, and this three times. So another big red flag ... It was wise anyway to let down without the logbook and some arrears in taxes.

    Thanks Colm_mcm too , about the reminder for the licence ( C1, then ) yes, I was aware of that. I didn't know for the VRT for small minibus, though . :-)

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  • Registered Users Posts: 50,430 ✭✭✭✭ bazz26

    You dodged a bullet there.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,309 ✭✭✭ gipi

    Yes,Bertie, I had to pay the road tax first. The tax disc arrived in the post within 2 days, the vrc a few days later

    I should also have said that before taxing the car, I had to write to Shannon to advise them of a change of ownership. There are guidelines on what Shannon need in the letter online (think it's the site) - basically the car reg and vin details, the previous owner, new owner, and date of transfer

  • Registered Users Posts: 602 ✭✭✭ bertie 56

    Thanks for your input ! 😉