What’s the difference between an owner of a car and a registered keeper?

06 June 2022 Blog

When is the owner of a car not the keeper? Our handy guide explains all

You might be used to searching for used cars and seeing the number of former owners listed on adverts – it’s a surefire way to see how many people have had the pleasure of owning that motor. But sometimes you’ll instead see the number of registered keepers. What’s the difference? Read on to find out.

What’s the difference between owners and keepers?

The owner is the person who paid for the car, or the person who was gifted it (lucky them!). The keeper of a car is usually the same person, but in some cases they’re different people. This usually happens with company cars – the company owns the car, but the registered keeper is the employee who has day-to-day use of the car.

The registered keeper will be the person listed on the car’s V5C registration document – hence why the document says “This document is not proof of ownership”. 

Is the registered keeper of a car responsible for speeding tickets?

Yes – the registered keeper of a car is responsible for any fines or speeding tickets incurred in the vehicle in question, and the police will speak to them first in any enquiries they make concerning a particular car. 

What else is the registered keeper responsible for?

The registered keeper is responsible for all day-to-day requirements involved in running a car – namely insurance, having a valid MoT test and tax.

What is the owner of a car responsible for?

If you’re the owner of a car then you’re responsible for making sure the registered keeper is insured to drive it. That’s about it.

How do I prove I’m the owner of a car?

To prove you’re the owner of the car you’ll need to be able to show an invoice or receipt from when you bought it – or were gifted it.

How do I change the registered keeper of a car?

If you want to change the registered keeper of a car (if you’re selling it or gifting it), you’ll need to fill out the ‘change of registered keeper’ part of the V5C and return it to the DVLA – or you can do this online using the DVLA’s website.