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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71030
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Recover car as legal owner

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recover car as legal owner
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Are you the registered keeper?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The registered keeper is my brother. However, I believe I am the legal owner as I paid for the vehicle direct to the garage. I also funded the insurance and road tax. I have email and banking evidence to support this.

How much is the car worth?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
As mentioned in my opening question 4000 GBP.
He is the registered keeper and so entitled to physical possession of the car.
To act against him you will either have to sue at the small claims court for the sum of money the vehicle is worth or seek an injunction forcing him to return it.
I wouldn't suggest the former unless the vehicle itself is important to you and cannot be replaced by money.
The small claims court is much cheaper and easier to access. You can issue here
but I would send him a letter before action first giving him fourteen days to pay and warning him of the risk of legal action if he does not.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
If you could confirm that as the legal owner he cannot sell or otherwise dispose of the vehicle without my permission. I've read on the police website that this is so and that if he did sell it he would then be commiting a criminal offence.
How quickly can I get an injunction to prevent him using the vehicle?
Going after the cash rather than the car is a non starter. He has no cash the car is my asset and that's all I can go after.
He has just demanded £2000 in cash from me to give back the car. Do you still advise small claims court in this case?
Well, it depends whether it is accepted that he is the legal owner. It hasn't been at this stage.
You could get an emergency injunction within a week but that will be expensive.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Police website.
A registration document (V5) is not proof of ownership. The registered keeper should be the person who is actually using / keeping the vehicle and this is not necessarily the owner of the vehicle or the person who is paying for it.
The receipt is in my name. So I am the owner. There is no agreement that the car is his property. So I will issue the letter in which I will withdraw permission for him to use or dispose of the vehicle and demand it's return.
According to the police he cannot sell it or it would become a criminal offence of fraud. Hopefully that won't happen anyway. Do you have any further advice?
Well, it depends whether it is accepted that he is the legal owner. It hasn't been at this stage.
Don't take advice from the police.
If he sold it they would take no action at all because he is the registered keeper.
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