Legal owner: What does it mean?

The legal owner of a car is the person who paid for it. This won’t necessarily be the same as the registered keeper of the car, who is the person who keeps and uses it. Company cars are an example of when the legal owner and the registered keeper may be different.

Legal owner: The long answer

In car ownership, a legal owner refers to the person or entity with the legal rights and responsibilities associated with owning a vehicle. In the UK, the legal owner is the individual or organisation whose name is listed on the vehicle's registration document, commonly known as the V5C or logbook. This document serves as proof of ownership and contains important details about the vehicle, including the legal owner's name and address.

Being the legal owner means having the authority to make decisions regarding the vehicle, such as selling, transferring ownership, or making modifications. It also entails certain responsibilities, such as ensuring the vehicle is properly insured, taxed, and maintained according to legal requirements.

It is important for UK drivers to understand the concept of a legal owner, as it determines who has the ultimate control and responsibility over a vehicle. Whether you are purchasing a new car, selling one, or dealing with any legal matters related to vehicle ownership, knowing who the legal owner is can help ensure a smooth and lawful process.