V5C Document

The most unusual reasons for getting a V5C shredded

18th Apr, 2024

V5C, vehicle registration document, vehicle logbook… they’re all different names for the same thing. Despite that last moniker, it’s actually not a book, but a piece of paper that essentially serves as legal proof of who is the registered keeper of the car. (Note that the owner and the registered keeper aren’t always necessarily the same person, although in most cases they usually are.)

Just as with any bits of paperwork, from time to time V5Cs can get lost. That’s not unusual in itself, and thankfully, you don’t necessarily need your V5C if you’re thinking: I need to scrap my car. Now, the reasons behind these can sometimes be pretty straightforward – and other times, they can be a little bit more unpredictable. Not too long ago, the DVLA released a list of anonymised cases in which people listed some strange, amusing or just plain unlucky reasons for losing their V5C. Here are some of our favourites.

My parrot destroyed it

We’re starting off strong with our first entry, a twist on the classic “my dog ate it”. A couple of crucial differences though, namely in that household birds like parrots generally won’t eat paper. However, they will happily shred it with abandon, mostly because they’re intelligent and need frequent mental stimulation. If they’re bored, they’ll make their own entertainment, and all-too-often that involves destroying something they’re not supposed to.

Combine that with the fact that by their nature, they’re highly mobile, and if they’re uncaged and unsupervised, they can achieve a surprising level of devastation to defenceless legal documents. Clearly, our unlucky owner learned that slightly too late.

My children destroyed it

Children can be wonderful. Adventurous, curious, and resourceful – all very admirable traits that can often serve them well into adulthood. Of course, they’re only admirable as long as said children aren’t using crucial legal documents in their play or crafts – which is exactly what happened to a couple of unfortunate (and anonymous) drivers who had to replace their V5C. One person discovered their V5C had been quietly liberated by their grandchildren, who had taken it outside and buried it in the mud. (We hope it was at least a somewhat sombre ceremony.)

Even more galling was the driver who found their V5C… covering their child’s schoolbook. You have to give them points for creativity: it is a very lovely red colour, after all.

Left it at the hotel in the Gobi Desert when driving across Asia during my gap year

That does sound like a genuine problem, but also, let’s be honest, a stealth boast if ever we heard one. (Get you and your gap year Gobi Desert trip.) Of all the places to lose something though, the Gobi Desert itself is not the best place. It’s the sixth largest desert in the world, covering an area roughly the same as the US state of Alaska, or Saudi Arabia. You could lose one or two small countries in a space that size, never mind a piece of paper.

Now, in fairness, the owner does make clear that the search is narrowed down to a hotel – but given that most of us can easily think of times when we’ve lost things in a single room in the house, searching the space the size of a full-scale hotel probably isn’t going to yield much luck.

Someone used my V5C as wrapping paper for my birthday

We get it. Wrapping paper can be annoyingly expensive. So it’s understandable that in a pinch, lots of people go for cheaper alternatives that they may have lying around. Newspaper, scrap paper, pliable cardboard, that sort of thing. What’s not a viable alternative though, is a crucial legal document, so you’d have thought someone would have noticed that before wrapping a present in it (in this case, a set of car keys). And if not, you’d have thought someone else would have noticed that before tearing it open.

But apparently, nobody did any of those things in one particular instance, leading one particularly embarrassed driver to explain to the DVLA that they’d been given a car for their birthday, and that the V5C had been used as wrapping paper – which had inevitably been torn open with the same enthusiasm that most people reserve for birthday presents. Still, the car was apparently survived the ordeal, so silver linings.

The classics

Now we come to the all-time greats, including the timeless: my dog ate it. In fairness, everything that we’ve said about parrots above also applies to dogs – they can be absolute nightmares for finding things they’re not supposed to find, and destroying them accordingly. (If you’ve ever left your post on the doormat for too long, you may well know that all-too-familiar sinking feeling.)

Someone else told the DVLA that their V5C had “blown out of the window, and when I went to look for it, it was gone.” It sounds like the sort of thing that a panicked teenager might make up on the spot, but bearing in mind that adults have to submit this in writing to the DVLA, you’d have thought they’d take the time to think up a better excuse – which means that on balance, it’s almost certainly true. Sometimes life really is that simple, and that unlucky.

All of that goes some way to illustrating why it’s so important to keep your own V5C in a safe, secure place, ideally locked away from enterprising children, dogs and… er, parrots. If you lose it though, the good news is that there’s no need to panic – you can easily order a new on online. And if you’re planning to scrap your car, you don’t technically need one at all. As long as you let the DVLA know in writing, you can actually scrap your car without it!

Speaking of which – that’s exactly where we can help here at Scrap Car Network. With more than 40 years of experience behind us, we’re committed to making sure we always get you the very best price. All you need to do is enter your car reg and postcode into the fields on our site, and we’ll get you an instant online quote before you can say cash for cars. It only takes a few seconds. Curious to find out how much your car is worth?

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