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been given a car, no log book. owner missing. what do i do with it?

(77 Posts)
freezingmytitsoff Thu 13-Dec-12 12:08:03

i have a family member who used to live near me. about 3yrs ago he moved abraod. he left a car at one of his freinds houses who lived near me. the car has sat there for 3yrs, his friend contacted me and said the council was going to tow it if it wasn't moved so i got someone to pick it up and park it at there parents house.
now the problem is we have no keys and no logbook!
i have till jan 1st to move from where it is.
the family memeber who owns it is uncontactable, i have tried every possible way of finding him but can't.
it is worth about 2,000 and i could really do with the money.
i don't drive and know nothing about cars.
what the hell do i do?

greenfolder Thu 13-Dec-12 14:23:56

If the owner can't be contacted how does it now belong to you?

freezingmytitsoff Thu 13-Dec-12 15:28:10

well i suppose it doesn't. ive contacted his mum, she doesn't want it and told me to do whatever i want with it.
at the end of the day it was better that i had it than the council.
i just don't know what to do now.

quietlysuggests Thu 13-Dec-12 15:36:33

you could get keys cut, phone around and know the make and model as they will ask you.
Then see if the log book is in the glove box?

GoldQuintessenceAndMyhrr Thu 13-Dec-12 15:39:34

You cant sell it, it is not registered in your name. It was possibly not taxed, and may not have neither valid insurance or MOT, so driving it may be an offense. Congratulations, you have taken on a problem.

YDdraigGoch Thu 13-Dec-12 15:41:36

Contact the DVLA and ask them how to transfer ownership. They deal with missing log books all the time - there's bound to be a transfer of ownership form. They won't care if any money has changed hands, or whether it was a gift.

Then contact the manufacturer and tell them you have lost the keys to the car - and are they able to supply a new set. I don't know what details they will need - but start with them, and they'll tell you what to do.

Collaborate Thu 13-Dec-12 17:06:07

Let me get this right. Someone who isn't the owner says you can have it, and you believe that makes you the owner. Have I got it right?

bureni Thu 13-Dec-12 17:10:23

Hardly worth lifting a car that has been lying outside for 3 years, its bond to have major problems that would cost a lot to fix. The DVLA will ned a leter from the previous owner and proof of ownership from the previous owner before the car can be registered in anyone elses name. Hardly worth the effort.

bureni Thu 13-Dec-12 17:11:20

bleerdy keyboard grin

FireOverBethlehem Thu 13-Dec-12 17:17:01

Phone 101 and ask the police what to do - it's not likely to be insured or declared SORN so they can tow it away and save you the hassle.

However, as this is on the owner's parents' drive, why is this your problem to deal with? What will happen to it on 1st Jan?

LIZS Thu 13-Dec-12 17:21:58

how did it get moved if no keys ? Doubt it is worth £2k if not driven in 3 years, presumably ahs no MOT, tax insurance ....

naturalbaby Thu 13-Dec-12 17:26:03

how did they move it if you don't have the keys?!
It sounds very far fetched, you've got a big job on your hands convincing anyone to get it legal to sell on.

titchy Thu 13-Dec-12 20:32:38

I could do with a couple of grand - the cars mine!

Wallace Thu 13-Dec-12 21:02:23

The DVLA will write to the previous keeper. If no reply within a certain time limit you will become the registered keeper.

confuugled Thu 13-Dec-12 22:06:58

Don't you need to make sure that it's got it's SORN notice or something similar otherwise you (or he) can be liable for not paying road tax. Sure someone else will know more about it than me, but there's something pinging in the back of my head that's saying it's worth checking out as you don't want to find yourself landed with a bill or worse, a fine!

MOSagain Fri 14-Dec-12 11:51:54

You do realise that by assuming ownership you could be guilty of theft?

ClareMarriott Fri 14-Dec-12 19:51:25

Dear Freezing

It's coming up to Christmas..... the car has been moved sans keys to the driveway of his mother's house. If she can't contact him to find out what he wants done with the car...... I would leave it with her to sort out and not get involved yourself

freezingmytitsoff Sat 15-Dec-12 18:42:51

i only took it because it was going to get taken by the council.
i have made some calls and its worth more like 5,000-6,000 as its a vintage VW.
we put it on a trailer.
i don't think the police would arrest someone unless the car was reported stolen.
its not on his mums drive its on my friends mums drive. she said it has to gone by 1st jan.
i am going to apply for the log book and see what they say, there is no way that they will be able to contact the owner.
then i don't know what the hell do to with it!

ClareMarriott Sat 15-Dec-12 21:17:36

Does'nt his mother have any contact details for him ? A mobile number or email address ? If he was to know how much it could possibly be worth that might galvanize him into some sort of action .

GoldQuintessenceAndMyhrr Sat 15-Dec-12 21:25:23

You cant just assume ownership of somebody elses car!

How do you know this person wont be found? Is he dead?

What if he comes back from wherever he is, and wants his car? And find that YOU have sold it and taken the money?

This is absurd. This is like an episode out of trailer trash america.

greenfolder Sun 16-Dec-12 10:17:32

The log book is a red herring. Having the car registered to you does not give you legal ownership.

You do not own the car, you cannot sell it. Even if you dud you have to hold the proceeds for the rightful owner.

Seriously you need to let this go.

VivaLeBeaver Sun 16-Dec-12 10:27:13

If its a vintage vw most vw keys will fit it. I used to have a vw camper and anytime I've locked myself out my van I've flagged down a passing camper and used their keys.

So you should be able to get keys sorted. I'm guessing its a beetle? Don't let the council take it and scrap it. Vintage beetles are beautiful, but if its not been driven for two years its probably going to need a bit of tlc to get it running again.

Could you not just insure and use it yourself? Beetles need driving, they rot if left to sit so you'd be doing the owner a favour. Ask about on the vw forums about keys. If you have a reg number there may be a key tracing/cutting service that can be done without the original keys.

Collaborate Sun 16-Dec-12 10:30:52

Even driving the car is a criminal offence - taking without consent.

VivaLeBeaver Sun 16-Dec-12 10:37:08

If he's uncontactable and out the country he's not going to be reporting her is he? I suppose only the op knows what the owner is like, what are the chances of him ever coming back, if he did come back is he the sort to complain if his cars been driven?

If it was me I'd consider those things and then make a decision.

But yes, I suppose it would be illegal to drive it.

VivaLeBeaver Sun 16-Dec-12 10:38:36

advice here

Looks like the dvla would send you a new v5 and let you be the owner.

CajaDeLaMemoria Sun 16-Dec-12 10:38:56

You cannot touch this car unless you can get in contact with the owner. You will break a multitude of laws.

You'd need to go down the official route of making him a missing person and somebody taking over his assets/bank accounts etc. That will take a lot longer than January's 1st.

Put it into storage for now?

Do not sell it. It belongs to someone. Even if the owner is no longer alive, it forms part of their estate.

I'd be very concerned that it could have been involved in some very dodgy business. It will be from now on. You will struggle to legally insure it, having the log book doesn't make it legally yours and if you sell it you are asking for a legal battle. It doesn't matter who else has told you you can see it.

You need either direct permission from the owner or from someone legally responsible for their belongings.

VivaLeBeaver Sun 16-Dec-12 10:39:56

Registered keeper, not owner even.

Collaborate Sun 16-Dec-12 10:40:55

Also, being illegal to drive it means you'll invalidate your insurance and be committing an offence. As well as that you won't be covered in the event of an accident. I'd imagine luck would determine that you write it off the week before he returns to the country.

there are organisations that will trace someone worldwide for around £100 on a no find no fee basis. There are no excuses for not getting his consent.

GoldQuintessenceAndMyhrr Sun 16-Dec-12 12:15:53

See, look at what Collaborate says - he can be traced for a mere £100 tops if he is found.

But, if you know inside yourself that he would say "Hey, get out of my car" when you contact him about having it, you have your answer right there.

MOSagain Sun 16-Dec-12 13:06:27

Gold I get the impression that the OP is determined to have it despite the advice given on her. Advice given by at least two lawyers and a former police officer!

GoldQuintessenceAndMyhrr Sun 16-Dec-12 13:28:48

MOS I know, rare to find such unusual combination of ignorance and stubbornness. Reminds me of my sisters ex. grin

LIZS Sun 16-Dec-12 13:37:49

The friend who "gave" it to you had no right to do so as would not himself/herself be the legal owner. You seem to have assumed that taking responsibility for the problem will equate with ownership but this is not the case. If his family cannot locate him (might he or a contact be on FB., Twitter etc) you are not going to get anywhere and legally it cannot even be sold for scrap. If it can be moved to his parents' property it would buy you more time but frankly I doubt it is worth the effort, classic car or not , after all this time.

trueblood1fan Sun 16-Dec-12 13:46:57

it might be worth 2k & you may need the money but the car is NOT yours & thus not your money so i suggest giving the car back & selling things you actually own. sorry if this sounds harsh but feel youve ripped off the person "who gave it to you" as surely if youd had told them it was worth 2k they would not simply give it away - you sound very grabby, make your own money rather than looking in peoples garden for a quick buck lol.......

MOSagain Sun 16-Dec-12 13:48:20

<mos wonders whether the OP should repost in AIBU?? .. AIBU to take and sell this car? hmm

DoesntTurkeyNSproutSoupDragOn Sun 16-Dec-12 13:50:35

The friend didn't give it to the OP, they insisted it was removed from their property.
The owner's mother told the OP to do what she wanted with it.

Not that it makes a lot of difference wrt legal ownership.

MOSagain Sun 16-Dec-12 13:57:40

But the owner's mother has no right to give it to someone else, it is not hers to dispose of.

trueblood1fan Sun 16-Dec-12 13:59:07

but would they have insisted if op had been honest about the value of the car?! op didnt do this friend a favour as she clearly knew she was gonna get 2k out of it?! maybe if she comes clean to the "friend" about the value of the car & offersa split the friend (if the friend still wants to be friends after?!) if friend makes a real effort to contact owner of car. legally you cant sell this car (am a solicitor) as never been owned/driven/family member ect so i suggest you phone the council to remove & get a reciept. what you are doing is theft & is 2k really worth the stress of being caught?!

bradywasmyfavouritewiseman Sun 16-Dec-12 13:59:55

Its not on the owners mums drive. Its on the friends mums drive.

How is no one concerned that this relative is completely uncontactable and untraceable and the main concern is about whether you can twoc the car?

trueblood1fan Sun 16-Dec-12 14:01:34

cause 2k is involved & op "needs" the money?! :-\

bradywasmyfavouritewiseman Sun 16-Dec-12 14:02:21

trueblood you read my mind.

Viviennemary Sun 16-Dec-12 14:08:48

I'd be wary of selling this car if you have no proof of ownership which you haven't. You should get something in writing. If you can't do this then don't get involved.

TenPercenter Sun 16-Dec-12 14:22:50

There was a thread were lequeens dh lost a car because it was considered abandoned after a period of time, someone took it and sold it on, is this not the same confused. Don't see why the op is getting such a bashing, no idea of the legalities of these things though.

Selks Sun 16-Dec-12 14:23:26

To be honest I'd be more concerned about the missing relative than the car confused hmm

GoldQuintessenceAndMyhrr Sun 16-Dec-12 14:29:18

Maybe the missing relative is in the boot of his car. And op knows. That is why she wants to sell it so badly, before the council takes it away. And opens the boot.

<dramatic assumption queen>

MOSagain Sun 16-Dec-12 15:26:32

TenPercenter, the OP is getting a 'bashing' because he/she is talking about doing something illegal

DoesntTurkeyNSproutSoupDragOn Sun 16-Dec-12 16:37:38

But the owner's mother has no right to give it to someone else, it is not hers to dispose of

You couldn't be arsed to read my last sentence then I see.

MOSagain Sun 16-Dec-12 18:13:40

I for one have read all of the sentences on this thread, many of which contain complete and utter shite and thoroughly wrong advice

HECTheHallsWithRowsAndFolly Sun 16-Dec-12 18:17:35

You can contact his mum but can't contact him? You mean his mum has no idea where he is or what's happened to him? She must be frantic!

Anyway. Its not your car, don't try to do anything with it or what you're doing is dealing in stolen property!

bradywasmyfavouritewiseman Sun 16-Dec-12 18:37:46

many of which contain complete and utter shite

Well done you for adding a couple more grin

SolomanDaisy Sun 16-Dec-12 18:52:08

Contact LaQueen by PM. She has posted a story several times about her husband's car being reported abandoned and then claimed by the person who reprted it. She might know more about how that happened?

freezingmytitsoff Mon 17-Dec-12 09:49:20

ok everyone i think your being very dramatic. he is a close relative, he has gone missing after a trip to america.
there is an open missing persons report on him.
the police have contacted me regarding him being missing, they told me he had entered the country from america and that was the last trace of him.
he is a drug addict and has done this sort of thing before. his mum has been told that he has been seen around london by mutual friends. they don't have a very good relationship anyway.
he inherited a lot of money a few yrs ago. the reason his friend gave it to me is he said the my relative had left everything to me in his will and always said he wanted me to have everything. he has no children or wife.
are you all saying that you would let the council have something that belonged to your family/friend? he would be more angry at me if i had let the council take it, he would be fuming in fact.
i know 100% that he would want me to have it rather than leave it to rot or towed away.
i have tried every possible way of contacting him and so have the police.
i have no idea why anyone would think that i am trying to take something of him to sell, i didn't ask for it.
it was simply you take or the council will.
why wouldn't i?
and i can't keep it for him as i have no where to store it.
i will just tell the dvla the thruth, if someone can't be found are you just meant to leave any property of theres to rot away?

freezingmytitsoff Mon 17-Dec-12 09:58:05

thanks for link beaver!

trueblood1fan Mon 17-Dec-12 09:58:31

so owner has not given you permission to sell & spend his money?! if you sold car i would put money aside incase he comes back. he could report you to the police theft/take you to small claims. by all means charge him reasonable storage fees but cannot be resolved until he comes back.

poor man & his poor family - so feel for them :'(

freezingmytitsoff Mon 17-Dec-12 11:05:11

i am his bloody family!!
we are not the kind of family to report eachother to the police or go to a small claims court, i don't know what planet some of you are living on.
and if he came back i wouldn't charge him fees, he is my family.
you are talking like it is a strangers car.
if he came back and wanted the money i would get it for him, but i know he wouldn't.
if he came back and found out that i let the council tow away his car he would be really angry with me.
how can i store it for him when there is a 99% chance he will never come back for it?

trueblood1fan Mon 17-Dec-12 11:32:29

just sell it then lol. stop asking & do it.

freezingmytitsoff Mon 17-Dec-12 11:41:04

i was more asking about how to go about it than wether i should do it or not.
i don't drive and know nothing about cars, DVLA, logbooks ect.

trueblood1fan Mon 17-Dec-12 12:16:22

but youve been told time & time again by posters who are police/solicitors you cant but youre not listening so i give up lol.

freezingmytitsoff Mon 17-Dec-12 12:57:57

what else am i meant to do with it? leave on a public road to rot/get towed away? wasting the councils time and money? and my relatives money?
people don't seem to understand that there is room for common sense within the law. you don't have to behave like a robot and follow the law to the letter.
if i rang up the local police station and told them the situation, do you think they would come and arrest me?
or do you think they would use a bit of common sense and say try to order a log book in my name?

bradywasmyfavouritewiseman Mon 17-Dec-12 13:44:50

The rules on abandoned property is different if he has been reported missing. He would have to be declared dead for his property to be released to next of kin.
If there is record of him entering the US there would be record of him leaving. You are allowed to stay 90 visa free. His passport would flag him up leaving after that as an over stayer. The same if he had a visa.

You seem more concerned about his possessions than him. Return the car to his mother.

Bet you wouldn't care less if it was worth £250.

MOSagain Mon 17-Dec-12 14:07:20

ok, its time for a biscuit

trueblood1fan Mon 17-Dec-12 14:09:00

yes, leave it - its NOT yours :-\

freezingmytitsoff Mon 17-Dec-12 14:32:27

his mum lives in a flat in london and has no where to keep it. i would just be handing her a huge problem. and i live miles away, how would i get it to her?
and you have got a cheek saying i don't care about him, how the hell would you know?
this thread was nothing to do with my relationship with him or about him going missing, it was simply about the car. so i have not talked about it. that doesn't mean i don't care, what a huge assumption to make on such little information.
cheeky cow.
anyway if there is anyone who has a mind of there own and is not just a robot who lives there life 100% by the book, even if it means wasting thousonds of pounds. just because thats the 'law', i would like to hear your opinion.

titchy Mon 17-Dec-12 14:45:21

I think if you'd started a thread saying a relative has disappeared and left a car worth thousands of pounds, what should I do for him to make sure it doesn't get taken away by the council, people would have been more sympathetic.

But you didn't, you said you were broke and wanted to sell his car cos you wanted the money.

You started a thread asking how to steal sell something that isn't yours, so YOU would benefit. Not how to sell something on behalf of a disappeared relative so that HE/his next of kin would benefit if he was ever found.

MOSagain Mon 17-Dec-12 14:46:08

I am not a robot and have a mind of my own. Also, having worked as a police officer and a lawyer, I know and respect the law and don't cherry pick which aspects of it I abide by and which I ignore because it suits me financially.

I appreciate it must be a difficult time for you and your family, however, there is no need to be rude to people who have offered you advice that you have sought. I do not understand why you keep coming back for advice and keep attempting to justify your position when you don't like the advice you are given.

You have posted in legal, several lawyers have posted in response to your question but you are hellbent on ignoring their advice. Please don't waste peoples time then come back and abuse them.

bradywasmyfavouritewiseman Mon 17-Dec-12 14:56:18

Yes I am the cheeky cow. Clearly.

The fact is that this car is NOT abandoned. He may intact want it. However he may be being prevented from returning to collect it. that's why there is a difference.

If his mother is the next of kin, advise her and let her deal with it. If he turns up next month and wants his car what will you do then?

Call me what you want, you are coming across terribly and I am still convince you wouldn't give a crap and would be letting the friend sort it out if it was worthless

bradywasmyfavouritewiseman Mon 17-Dec-12 14:59:36

the reason his friend gave it to me is he said the my relative had left everything to me in his will and always said he wanted me to have everything. he has no children or wife.
you have no proof of this, though do you?
and you would have to have him declared dead to claim.

What activity was on the bank accounts? Why is there no record of him leaving the US, if he is in London?

Viviennemary Mon 17-Dec-12 15:55:24

The car isn't yours. The car wasn't his friends. You have no right to ownership of the car. That's the way I see things.

EuroShagmore Mon 17-Dec-12 16:11:47

There's a car parked outside my house. It looks quite shiny. Would anyone like it?

I am rather horrified that anyone would think this was the right thing to do. He might sort himself out and then turn up looking for his vintage car (that's one thing to think about - it's probably not something that can be exactly replaced if he does). It's not your car, OP, and it is not OK to assume ownership and sell it (not just legally, also morally).

trueblood1fan Mon 17-Dec-12 16:22:33

whoa op - you asked a question & abused the people that didnt agree with you. you are in the wrong & assuming your defensive nature is because you realise you are money grabbing. you didnt buy the car - it will never be yours to sell but hohum you can try :-\

MOSagain Mon 17-Dec-12 16:59:16

Euroshag, I think it is mine, must have mislaid it a few years ago wink

HECTheHallsWithRowsAndFolly Mon 17-Dec-12 17:13:31

if he shows up and if he wants his car back - what will you do?

You want to take his car and sell it, nobody on here can stop you.

You want to spend the money that you get from selling his car, nobody on here can stop you.

but you need to know what you will do if he shows up one day wanting it back.

Will you give him the money or will you say tough luck, I spent it.

I assume that you want him back more than you want the money for the car, so obviously you will be hoping against hope that he does show up one day.

And if he does - will you be repaying him the money you got for his car?

freezingmytitsoff Mon 17-Dec-12 20:48:00

of course i would repay him and i know 100% that he would rather i sold it than let the council tow it away. he would also understand that there is no way that i could store it on the off chance he wants it back.
i also gave became abusive because somebody who doesn't know me has said that i care more about a car than my relative. and i stand by that, she was out of order to say that. it was nothing to do with the thread.

HECTheHallsWithRowsAndFolly Tue 18-Dec-12 06:31:14

Well, what can anyone say? You will do what you will do. You do it knowing that it is against the law and so if there are legal consequences to you for doing it - you will have no right to moan or feel aggrieved in any way, you must just accept whatever happens. Maybe nothing will happen. But if it does - you won't be able to complain about it, because you will have gone into this knowing the legal position and that there was a risk.

If you're willing to take it, then that's your choice.

I hope your family member turns up, it must be very very worrying for you all. Particularly his mother. I can't imagine how painful it would be for me if I didn't know where my child was - or even if they were alive. It's so painful to imagine it, I can't even begin to know how painful it is to live it.

freezingmytitsoff Tue 18-Dec-12 09:29:23

yes it's awful not knowing where he is, unfortunatly inheriting money seems to have caused him so many problems. before that he was fine.
the last trace of him was coming back into the uk from america. ive messaged all hisa friends on FB but none of them have seen him.
im not sure what the police have done to find him.

HECTheHallsWithRowsAndFolly Tue 18-Dec-12 11:37:24

probably not much.

Adult male with money and no mental health problems or other vulnerability?

Have you tried things like salvation army - they're apparently quite good at finding people? newspaper ads?

CajaDeLaMemoria Tue 18-Dec-12 11:42:15

It's worth remembering here that it isn't about him.

He might not kick off if he comes home and you've sold it. But if any other agency comes to have an interest in the car, they would kick off and involve the police.

That is why you cannot sell it. It doesn't matter if he would be okay with it. If he is a missing person, do not touch it. It will eventually become property of whomever his estate goes to, whether that is as an asset to someone or owed to someone.

Until then someone will have to pay to store it, or let the council tow it away.

freezingmytitsoff Tue 18-Dec-12 18:11:11

well police said that as there were people saying they had seen him around london that they weren't worried.
i understand that the laws says i cant take it but its not possible for me or his mum to store it and there is no way i would let the council tow it away.
im just doing what i know he would want me to do.
he would be really annoyed if he knew his friend had told it was going to get towed and i hadn't done anything.
also my mum has said i can keep it at hers for a while so i won't sell it for now.

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