Who is the registered keeper of a lease car?

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If you lease or subscribe to a vehicle did you know that you are not the actual registered keeper of the car? Today’s guide we will go through the technicalities of the terms.

Who is the legal owner of a lease or subscription car?

Are you familiar with the distinction between the “legal owner” and the “registered keeper” of a vehicle? If you haven’t delved into the world of car leasing or vehicle subscriptions, these terms may be unfamiliar to you. Interestingly, it’s entirely possible to possess a car without being the one who drives it. This scenario is a common practice among leasing and subscription companies, who assume ownership of vehicles on a regular basis. In the case of personal contract hire (PCH) or business contract hire (BCH) agreements, it is indeed the finance company that holds ownership of your leased vehicle.

Who is the registered keeper of a lease or subscription car?

When it comes to leased or subscription vehicles, the registered keeper is usually the lease or subscription company.

In some cases this may be a completely different company deepending on the source of the vehicle, this is particularly true in cases of car subscriptions where manufacturers offer vehicles on buy-backs.

How do I insure a lease or car subscription vehicle?

Many customers think that a car cannot be insured if they are not the registered keeper or legal owner, this is not the case and insurance companies are more than willing to insure a leased car without any problem.

When it comes to insuring the vehicle, make sure the insurance company knows that the car is a leased car (this applies to subscription vehicles) and they they are the registered keeper and legal owner, if asked. Make sure that you complete this correctly, as it could invalidate your insurance should you need to make a claim.

Will the V5C document (logbook) be in my name?

When you lease or subscribe to a vehicle, you will not receive the V5C logbook document. This is because the leasing company or vehicle subscription provider is the registered keeper.

By withelding this document, it prevents you from selling the vehicle, taxing the vehicle or taking your car abroad.

How do I tax a lease or subscription vehicle?

The leasing company or subscription provider provides and pays for the road tax during the length of your contract. It is one less thing to worry about and avoids having to pay the higher VED taxes in the first year.

What happens to parking fines, speeding penalities and PCN's when I'm in a lease car?

If you are unfortunate enough to receive a parking fine or you have been caught speeding in a lease or subscription vehicle. The notices will be sent directly to the registered keeper of the vehicle, which is usually the finance or lease company.

They will then have a process in place to transfer liability of the ticket, where applicable. This could mean:

  • Pay the fine and charge on to the end user
  • Transfer liability of the ticket to the end-user by contacting the authority body.
  • Pass the ticket to yourself to sort out.

This process will incur an administration charge for 99% of the leasing and subscription companies in the UK. Find out why companies charge an administration fee for processing PCN’s.

How do I take my lease or subscription car abroad?

Without the V5C logbook, then you cannot take your car outside of the UK. In it’s place subscription and lease companies will provide an VE103B to allow you to take your car abroad.

Brexit has made it much more difficult to take your car into Europe and the process is no longer as simple as before. There are restrictions on the length of time you take the car out of the UK and additional information and insurances required.

Contact your lease company or subscription provider to obtain the correct paperwork, many will charge for this and it is best to give some notice.

How do I apply for a parking permit on a lease or subscription car?

Many councils and parking authorities require a copy of the V5C to apply for a parking permit. If this is the case, contact your leasing or subscription provider who will send a letter giving permission along with the vehicle details. A charge is usually levied for this service.

Can I put a cherished plate on a lease or subscription vehicle?

If you want to put a personalised plate on a lease or subscription vehicle (where available), you will need to contact the provider to start the process.

Effectively, by putting the plate onto a lease or subscription vehicle, the provider will become the official owner of the personalised plate while it is on the vehicle. So make sure you get something in writing to confirm they will release the number plate back to you at the end of the contract.

Make sure you read the process, as if you do not take the plate off the car in good time near the end of your contract you could possibily lose it or have to pay excess rentals on the car.

Leasing and subscription companies will charge an administration charge for putting the plate on and removing it at the end, on top of the usual DVLA fee’s.

How do I find out the registered keeper of a vehicle?

Data protection will prevent the DVLA from releasing information of the registered keeper of a car. If your car is leased or you subscribe to it, the provider should be able to provide further information for you.

It is also possible to request the details of a registered keeper from the DVLA so long as you have ‘reasonable cause’. You will need to complete a V888 form and send this off to the DVLA.

More Information

If you need any further information on any of the above, please get in touch with the Cocoon Vehicles team on 01332 290173 or use the ENQUIRY FORM at the bottom of this guide.

Rebecca joined the Cocoon Vehicles team in 2018 after running and selling a successful financial services business offering pension, investments and mortgages. Today, Rebeccas goal is to provide the best possible customer service along with news that you will want to read.

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