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7 Important Documents That Car Owners Need

Whether you're a first time driver or owned a car for years, here's a head's up on the important documentation you must have when driving or for owning a car.

There's nothing quite like the feeling of owning your first car. It's a sense of freedom and independence that can't be beaten.

Of course, with that freedom and independence comes a certain amount of responsibility. It is your responsibility to stay safe on the road, maintain your car in good condition, and keep records of all paperwork and documents you need.

Not having the required documents to drive a vehicle illegally could end up in thousands of pounds in fines and even imprisonment!

Driving Licence

This is an absolute must! You MUST have a valid driving licence for the category of motor vehicle you are driving.

If you move house (or even change your name), you should also update your licence with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) or you could end up with a £1000 fine!

If you have a licence from a non-European community country, you may be able to drive in Great Britain on your full, valid driving licence for 12 months from when you became a resident.


The mandatory MOT test in the UK first introduced in 1960, is an annual car safety check for vehicles that are over 3 years old. It is generally illegal to drive without a valid MOT certificate provided your type of motor vehicle meets the requirements of needing an MOT test. The only exception to this rule is when you drive to a pre-booked MOT appointment at an authorised centre. Keep in mind that if you are stopped by the police on the way to your MOT test, you will need to show proof of this.

ClickMechanic is a recommended online platform that can get your MOT test done with free home collection and delivery.

Vehicle Insurance

UK law requires you to have a valid insurance policy in order to use a motor vehicle. At a minimum, you must have third-party insurance for the vehicle. Verify that the car you are driving has this coverage or you have adequate coverage with your own policy before driving it.

Third-Party insurance: is often the least expensive type of insurance as it's the minimum cover required by law. Be sure to check with multiple providers though as this might not always be the case and you could end up getting a better deal with a higher level of insurance cover. Third-party insurance covers anyone you might injure or whose property you might damage in an accident. Remember, this type of insurance does not cover damage to your own vehicle or injury to yourself.

Third-Party, Fire and Theft insurance: is third-party insurance with add ons such as fire damage protection and car theft.

Comprehensive insurance: is usually the most expensive but also the best and broadest range of insurance cover. It also covers damage to your own vehicle, up to its market worth, and personal injury to you.

Contrary to popular belief, it is not mandatory to have your driving licence, MOT or insurance certificate with you while driving. However, if you have been stopped by the police, the police can ask to see your licence, MOT certificate and insurance policy.

In the event that you do not have any of the above documents with you, you will have 7 days to present them to a police station, so it is best to keep them with you while driving.

V5C Logbook

The logbook is an important document for car owners as it records the name and address of the registered keeper of the car.

If you lose the logbook you can get a replacement on the DVLA website for £25. For this, you will need the registration number of the vehicle, VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) of your vehicle, name and postcode registered on your logbook.

Service Book

This service book is important for car owners as it shows when and where the car has been serviced. It also records what the mileage was when the servicing was carried out. Servicing your car on time is not only beneficial for your safety as a driver but helps to keep the car in good shape and retain value. Useful for when the time comes of selling it on!

Doing your MOT and annual service at the same time can save you both time and money. ClickMechanic offers an MOT test for just £25 when you book an MOT and service at the same time.

Road Tax

You don’t need to have a physical copy of this as it’s now mostly digital. But you’ll definitely need to ensure it is taxed. The cost of this will depend on the car's CO2 emissions and the type of fuel it uses.

If you decide to stop using your car for a while, then you may want to consider SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) from the DVLA. You will be due a road tax refund on anything you have already paid.

Breakdown Cover

Most insurance policies do not provide this type of cover so it’s a good idea to purchase a breakdown cover. This will come in handy in case your vehicle breaks down on the road. For example, if an engine or electrical problem causes a breakdown, the breakdown company can come to your rescue so you or your vehicle are not left stranded on the road.

Ensure you have all these documents sorted before you head out on your first drive for peace of mind.


30th May 2022