Own Your Car? Can You Prove It?

Discussion in 'The Tearoom' started by Bromptonaut, Dec 10, 2017.

  1. Bromptonaut

    Bromptonaut Rohan Man

    When I'm not wasting my time here I work for an advice charity, mostly on the telephone. Scenario below occurred last week and posed me question I've used as thread title.

    Client's car (an 06 Toyota Yaris), parked on her drive, had been clamped by a bailiff. Not her debt but that of her adult son who lived with her - a Magistrates Court fine. Bailiff wouldn't remove clamp until she proved car was hers. She had V5 and insurance both in her name (and no, he's not a permitted driver) plus recall etc notices from Toyota.

    Bailiff says V5 not worth paper it's written on and wants to see bill of sale for car or proof of payments to finance company. She's not got bill/receipt as car was cash purchase for repaired write off at <£1k.

    In those circs could you prove you own your car?

    Gave client next steps suggestions about her options and had row with bailiff who 'didn't like my attitude'.

    As ever with these things outcome will be a mystery unless she seeks further advice
  2. Welsh dragon

    Welsh dragon Senior Member Staff Member

    The problem with the V5 is that it says "who is the registered owner/keeper". The keeper doesn't necessarily have to be the owner. Still dam bailiffs. They have far too much power.

    I suppose unless you actually had a reciept of purchase, it could be difficult to prove a vehicle is actually yours. I will be interested to hear what the outcome is. Someone somewhere must have some common sense.
  3. Pale Rider

    Pale Rider Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I own my car and have the dealer's invoice, which doesn't answer your question.

    In the cirumstances described I cannot see any way of providing documentary proof of ownership.

    If push came to shove, I suspect the owner could scrape supporting evidence of ownership together and convince a court of it.
  4. OP

    Bromptonaut Rohan Man

    But of course issuing 'interpleader' proceedings or even just making a statutory declaration is time/money. Client was a domiciliary carer on zero hours contract. No car, no work.

    I suspect Johnny Bailiff hoped that if proving ownership was made difficult she'd pay as quickest way out of hassle.
  5. Joey Shabadoo

    Joey Shabadoo Regular Member

    Isn't the onus upon the bailiff to prove that the goods seized belong to the debtor?
    classic33 likes this.
  6. Baron Vlad Harkonenn

    Baron Vlad Harkonenn Regular Member

    What a horrible predicament to be in.

    Ultimately she could probably start a small claims claim against the bailiff, but who would want to put themselves through that.

    How big is the debt?
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2017
  7. OP

    Bromptonaut Rohan Man

    £800 (ish)
  8. Baron Vlad Harkonenn

    Baron Vlad Harkonenn Regular Member

    Not an insignificant sum then.

    Poor woman, please keep us posted on how she gets on.

    As for proving any item is your own when faced with a bailiff taking a shine to it, I think I'd be ok with the car(s) but for many other things I'd struggle.
  9. Welsh dragon

    Welsh dragon Senior Member Staff Member

    Agree with the above post. I bought my car brand new and have the purchase reciept amd service records. Most other items i own, i would be hard pressed to prove ownership.
  10. OP

    Bromptonaut Rohan Man

    Nowadays I tend to buy cars new/newish from main dealers and I have a reasonably organised domestic filing system but it wasn't always so. If I'd bought car privately for cash three years ago then I'd probably struggle to find anything to prove it.
  11. Roger_the_Lodger

    Roger_the_Lodger Regular Member

    My suggestion would be to ask here http://legalbeagles.info/forums/forum.php knowledgeable group of people, I personally would have called the Police whilst the bailiff was there, as above it is up to him to prove that the car belongs to the debtor not the other was around. I would notify them they have 48 hours to remove it or they will be charged with the cost.
    pubrunner likes this.
  12. pubrunner

    pubrunner Active Member

    Yes, that's correct; bailiffs don't have carte blanche to take whatever they like - they can ((legally) take only what belongs to the debtor.
    classic33 likes this.
  13. gravity aided

    gravity aided Member

    Over here, the bank holds title until the car pays off, so I can prove that I own a 10 year old Lancer.
    Big Andy likes this.
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