Who is responsible for registering a leased vehicle with the DVLA?

Guide to registering a leased vehicle

registering a lease vehicle


Should I be registering a leased vehicle with the DVLA?

Registering a leased vehicle with the DVLA  is a legal requirement. The DVLA stands for Driver Vehicle Licencing Agency. The DVLA is a huge database containing information on every car in the UK. This includes vehicles that are no longer on the road. The information the DVLA keep includes the car specifications such as make, model and colour. Alongside the contact information of the registered owner and registered keeper of the car.

They also have a note of all vehicles registered and when their MOT due dates and Tax renewals are. You can check a vehicle’s MOT history and due date here


Who is responsible for registering a leased vehicle?

registering a lease vehicleWe get asked a variety of questions about registering leased vehicles, but the most common are whether the responsibility of registering a leased vehicle lies with the lease company or the driver.

Once a vehicle has been leased the finance company is the responsible party for registering it with the DVLA. This is because the finance company are the owners of the vehicle and have an invested interest in it. The person taking out the lease, AKA the driver, is hiring the vehicle for use. For the duration of the lease contract, the registered owner and keeper of the vehicle would be the finance house and it is their responsibility to inform the DVLA.


What is the difference between a registered owner and a registered keeper?

When it comes to registering a leased vehicle it can be confusing to understand all the terminology. Don’t worry, OSV has got your back.

The registered owner is the person who has purchased the vehicle and holds the proof of purchase, ie the vehicle log book. In the case of a lease, this is the finance company.

A registered keeper is a person who is responsible for taxing the vehicle. It would be easy to assume that the person leasing the vehicle would be the keeper. After all, they would be the ones driving it. However, this is not the case. The finance provider would be the registered keeper with the DVLA. It is their responsibility to ensure the vehicle is taxed while registering a leased vehicle and throughout the contract.

Read more about registered keepers when leasing here.


What happens with speeding/parking fine notifications?

registering a leased vehicleIf the driver of a lease vehicle experiences a mishap and ends up receiving a speeding or parking fine then the process of notifying them can be one of two eventualities.

Some finance houses will pay the fine and then notify the driver of the charge. The charge will then be passed on to the driver. It is usually taken via the next Direct Debit payment plus an admin fee. Others will notify the ticket issuer of the driver’s details and instruct them to re-send the fine to them directly.

I’m afraid there is no way to choose how the finance company deals with fines, as it depends entirely on which finance house your lease is processed through. It is purely down to their in-house process.

Before registering a leased vehicle it’s worth asking the finance company what their procedure is.

This is, of course, all highly unlikely, but worthwhile knowing just in case.


Do lease car drivers need to notify the DVLA of a change of address?

If the driver moves to a new house or their information changes they will need to notify the finance company as soon as possible. It is important the driver continues to receive important documentation regarding their vehicle. Especially is there is a speeding or parking fine, as these increase if they remain unpaid.

Even though the driver is not registered as the keeper of the vehicle with the DVLA, they will need to notify the DVLA of any change of details for their driving licence. Drivers can easily update the details of their driving licence online. Failure to do so can result in a fine of up to £1000.

In the case of a personalised number plate on a lease vehicle, the driver will also need to complete a V750 or V788 form to notify the DVLA that their details have changed. There’s more information about the process for changing a personalised number plate with the DVLA on the government website.


What happens if the driver forgets to notify about a change in address?

registering a leased vehicleThe main thing a driver of a leased vehicle should do now is ensure that all their details are up to date with the lease company urgently. It would be worthwhile also asking them to forward any correspondence they have tried to send. This is so the lease car driver can keep a complete set of records for their vehicle. Then, they will need to update their driving licence details as a matter of urgency. Anyone found to have out of date information on their driving licence could be subjected to a large fine.



What is a V5C Certificate?

The V5C certificate contains all of the key information registered with the DVLA such as the date the vehicle was first registered, the colour and engine size. It also contains the contact information of the registered owner and registered keeper.


What if I need a copy of the V5C certificate of my lease vehicle?

In the unlikely event that the driver of a leased vehicle needs a copy of the V5C certificate, then the finance house can provide a copy upon request.


Where is a vehicle registered during its Lease?

Registering a leased vehicle is a bit different to a standard vehicle registration. The vehicle will be registered to the finance provider at their office address throughout the course of the lease contract. The driver can request the exact information held by the DVLA for registration of the vehicle at any time from the finance company.

In the event of a lease car being purchased at the end of the contract, the finance company will complete the process with the DVLA to transfer ownership to the person purchasing the vehicle. This is the same process as buying a second-hand vehicle.


What if my vehicles details aren’t showing up on the DVLA website?

registering a leased vehicleThere are a number of eventualities which may have resulted in a car not appearing in DVLA records online. This largely depends on whether it is a new or used vehicle and whether it’s been recently purchased or leased. Registering a leased vehicle can take slightly longer. This is because leased vehicles are not usually registered with the DVLA until the day of delivery. Therefore it can sometimes take a few days for the registration to appear on the DVLA website. This can also have a knock-on effect and if the DVLA are experiencing a high volume of registrations. In this instance, the registration may just be in the pile. If after a few days there is still no sign of the car on the DVLA website the driver should contact the finance company to notify them.

As the finance providers are the registered owner and keeper they will hold the log book and will need to be the ones to rectify the registration with the DVLA.

Insuring a vehicle that isn’t yet registered with the DVLA

The only frustration with a delay in registration is if the driver wants to obtain insurance for their new lease. Most online comparison tools and insurer websites use the DVLA records to find information about the car via its registration plate to give a quote. So if the vehicle isn’t registered yet this process won’t work. I recommend calling the insurers directly armed with the p11D value and vehicle specification. Providing this information will allow the insurer to provide a quote based on the same information held by the DVLA.

Dreaming of a new car? Explore our new car finance options

Faye Lindeck

Faye enjoys Music, Dog Walking and Socialising with friends.

Faye is an experienced blogger with a keen eye for finding excellent information about the subjects she writes about. Giving OSV blog readers the most accurate knowledge.
Faye Lindeck


  • Ben| 30th May 2019 at 10:42 pm Reply

    Hi Faye, I’ve ordered a lease car which was meant to be a 69 plate and delivered in September. They have sent me the paperwork which shows a 19 plate number. It does state the car will be registered on 14/06/2019 (2 weeks time). If it hasn’t yet been registered, can they delay the registration and assign a new 69 plate to the car come September or is this too late? Thank you Ben

    • Rachel Richardson| 31st May 2019 at 9:06 am Reply

      Hi Ben,
      As we have already started our conversation on another thread we will continue our response there. Many thanks for your comment.

    Leave comments

    Your email address will not be published.*

    You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Back to top