Legal car ownership....

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Ktbb13 | 20:58 Tue 21st Jun 2011 | Law
16 Answers
My friend got a loan for a car for his now ex girlfriend - apparently she couldn't get credit. They have now split up. The car is registered in her name. Although at the time it was agreed that she would pay the monthly instalments she is not but still has the car.

How does he go about getting the car back. (It was a regular loan not car finance but I assume that proof can be obtained of the money going to the garage the car was purchased from.)

Any suggestions?


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The car Is legaly Hers as it's in her name. She owes her BF the rest of the money to pay the loan off or to sign the car back over in his name but thats in her goodness to do so If no proof or contract has been signed. If She not willing to either pay up or give car back it means The ex BF would have to take legal action to try get back what Is his. It's still down to the BF to pay off the loan as He made the contract to take out the loan. I'ts also a big lesson to learn in life when spending money on partners.
Not so sure about that. The registered keeper with the DVLA is not the same thing as the legal owner.
Depends who's named on the logbook as the owner then. Im guessing the ex gf has sent it off as her as the owner of the car aswell as the driver
Question Author
Her name is on the log book. So it looks like its appealing to her better nature is the only option.

Thanks for the help anyway....
The logbook (V5) is the same as the Registered Keeper. It does not prove ownership.

"The V5C is not proof of ownership as DVLA records keepers and not owners."

Kttb - have you got a receipt showing that you paid for the car?
Your friend will need to have the proof of sale like receipt of him buying the car in his name.The money from the loan and the car even though all part of the same situation can be seen as two separate things and no proof links them together.
Even if he has the receipt he is not guaranteed to get the car or the money.
If he took it court she could claim the car was a gift from him. He would have to prove otherwise, which is very hard to do.
Your friend should be able to show that the timing of the loan coincided with the purchase of the car. he should also be able to show the funds passing from him to her or him to the garage. he may also be able to show some monthly payments on the car until they split.

Clearly appealing to her better nature will not work so he will need to take proceedings for the amount of the outstanding loan less any payments she has made. He MAY also in the alternative be able to claim return of the vehicle, but that really depends on the actual agreement they reached. The agreement/contract does not have to be in writing and can be proved by oral evidence supported by surrounding facts.
Question Author
Not sure if he has proof of purchase (or a receipt) I will ask...if he does how will that help?
It will help him if taking legal action in court. That's the only way He will have any chance of obtaining money or car back. Don't see His ex gf just saying 'Here you go there's the keys'!
Question Author
Okay - thanks for the help all - appreciated.
-- answer removed --
Very similar threads have popped up several times now!!
That is a good example of one owning the responsibility (to pay the loan) and the other enjoying the benefits (car ownership). Morally she should pay or transfer the car to him, legally he seems to be on weak grounds.
OK, so she may defend it on the basis that it was a gift. However, the Court will look at the surrounding evidence. Ie her ability to obtain credit, whether she made any repayments (and if she did that is contrary to the fact that it is a gift). There is also a "resulting trust" argument - ie there is a presumption at law that when A advances funds for property in the name of B the property "reverts" to A.

I am not so convinced he has "weak legal grounds" - but then I haven't seen the evidence which is what these cases turn on. I would be inclined to suggest to your mate that he goes to see a solicitor WITH the evidence he has and gets his/her view.

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