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Can bailiff take car of registered keeper who is not owner?

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Ian_2 06 Mar 2009

Hi, can bailiff take a car from a person owing money if they are the registered keeper and NOT owner?


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2900 members . 1218 topics . 2221 posts
helenchambers 04 Oct 2019

help, debt collectors for car insurance

Me and my ex partner bought a car together on finance (both names on the finance) the log book is in his name and payments come from his account, the problem is i payed the insurance from my account so i was policy holder however, i only have a provisional license so he was named driver and car owner etc we split n i continued to insure the car whilst we came to an agreement on finances etc. i finally cancelled the policy with the insurers a few days after paying £75 for the next full month and they said i had to pay a final £75 (i was struggling at the time having become a single mum to two with a large house, bills and debts to cover due to ex 'shoving his head in the sand') I didn't manage to pay and forgot with one thing and another, I now have received a debt collectors letter saying they will be visiting my house tomorrow (letter only received today) i can't afford to pay it as i have since lost my job and nor can i afford for them to take anything from my house. i am told that i should't be liable my ex should even though the policy is in my name, as i said he is registered owner name driver on policy and the one with the full license not me.......where do i stand, can anyone help me, please?

[Migrated from previous topic 12758 dated 08 May 2017]

MichaelBrown 04 Oct 2019

Non payment of bill

I have lent my son our car. He has put it in his name for insurance purposes but we are still the owners. Can our car be taken by a bailiff for non payment of a bill?

[Migrated from previous topic 10634 dated 17 Aug 2009]

gices 04 Oct 2019

If you're still the legal owner, then your son has put himself as the registered keeper of the car you lent to him. If that's the case, then bailiffs are not allowed to seize your car if your son is not paying his bills. This is because your son does not have any legal rights on your car but you have. Bailiffs would normally take something of value so that they can sell it on to get their money back. However they cannot sell something that does not belong to the person in debt in the first place.

If they have assumed it was your son's car and taken it by mistake, you can get in touch with them to tell them that the car is actually yours (proof will be required). If they fail to return it you, then you can sue them for that. You can get more information on this by contacting the Citizens Advice Bureau.

[Migrated from previous post 512 dated 03 Sep 2009]

CarleenMoore 04 Oct 2019

Debt of just one person

Hello, can bailiffs take away a car that is owned by 2 people for the debt of just one of the people?

[Migrated from previous topic 10515 dated 27 Jun 2009]

gices 04 Oct 2019

If someone is not paying their debt, then it gets to the point where bailiffs are called to try recover the amount owed. A list of valuable things which can pay for the debt is taken into consideration and the easiest thing to take away is a car as it can easily be towed away without having to break into your house. However bailiffs are not allowed to take things that do not belong to the person who is in debt. The situation becomes more complicated when something of value is owned by 2 or more people but still they shouldn't be able to confiscate it (or sell it to get their money back) because of shared ownership.

If you have been a victim of such a situation, then you should call (and write a formal letter as well) the company which has sent the debt collector and tell them of the shared ownership of the car. If they don't return the car, then can should contact a solicitor/debt advisor or the Citizen Advice Bureau to get advice on how to get your car back.

[Migrated from previous post 547 dated 09 Sep 2009]

gices 13 Mar 2009


As you will see from the article on the difference between registered keeper and legal owner of a car, if the registered keeper is not the owner, then he does not own the vehicle and does not have any rights to the car which subsequently means that the bailiffs are not allowed to take it away.

If that happened to you, then the legal owner can sue the bailiffs as the car does not belong to the registered keeper and they are wrong to have done that.