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If you change your car engine in the UK, you have to notify the DVLA.

  1. When buying the engine, should the seller have given you the v5c in which case you send that to the DVLA or does that only apply when you buy the whole car?
  2. How can I ensure the engine isn't a stolen one?
  3. If I let the DVLA know, then they find the engine belonged to an insurance claimed car (though the engine was intact) after notifying them will my car now be showing as a car which was involved in an accident?
  4. If I did buy a stolen engine(without knowing) and install it, then notified the dvla of the new engine, would they dvla be able to tell it's from a stolen car and would this create any problems for me e.g. engine will be confiscated?
  5. If you change engine to exactly the same engine, do you need to notify the dvla?

Thanks

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  • Buy the new engine from the manufacturer - then you avoid all this.... you pays your money... – Solar Mike Nov 25 '17 at 7:00
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When buying the engine, should the seller have given you the v5c in which case you send that to the dvla or does that only apply when you buy the whole car?

The V5 is associated to the car's chassis rather than the engine - it lists the current engine number but doesn't "follow" the engine around so no you wouldn't get the V5 when buying just the engine

How can I ensure the engine isn't a stolen one?

If buying just the engine then all you can really do is take the same precautions you would when buying any other second hand item or component - buy from a reputable seller and check any paperwork you can thoroughly. For more peace of mind you would be better buying a whole car (say a write-off from a salvage yard) and transplanting the engine, that way you can use the donor car's V5 etc to check it isn't stolen. Or, as Solar Mike says buy new from the OEM, but of course that will be significantly more expensive.

If I let the dvla know, then they find the engine belonged to a insurance claimed car(though the engine was intact) after notifying them will my car know be showing as a car which was involved in an accident?

Nope - as above the register that tracks total losses (which things like HPI checks look at) is around the chassis not the engine. It would no more make it show up as a total loss than it would if you installed the wiper blades from a written-off car.

If I did buy a stolen engine(without knowing) and install it, then notified the dvla of the new engine, would they dvla be able to tell it's from a stolen car and would this create any problems for me e.g. engine will be confiscated?

If you can back up that you bought the engine in "good faith" believing it wasn't stolen then you wouldn't be prosecuted for anything - but it wouldn't change the fact that you had no legitimate claim to the engine and the rightful owner would be entitled to it's return. Any monies you had paid out for the engine would be lost.

If you change engine to exactly the same engine, do you need to notify the dvla?

Yes you do - you need to provide them with the new engine number and one of the following:

  • a receipt for the replacement engine
  • written evidence from the manufacturer
  • an inspection report provided for insurance purposes
  • written confirmation on headed paper from a garage (if the change took place before you bought the vehicle)

Obviously if you are changing the engine for a different model then there's more you have to provide such as the capacity of the new engine and fuel type if different.

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  • Thanks Motosubatsu. Assuming the engine was from a stolen car, would the dvla\police be able to link it to the stolen car and if so, would the police confiscate it from me. Basically even if I bought a stolen engine(without knowing) and notified the dvla of the new engine, would they be able to tell if its stolen and if so, would it create any problems for me? or is it like adding a wiper blade from a stolen car, where nobody will know? – James Wilson Nov 25 '17 at 13:26
  • Engine number is tied to the DVLA records via the V5 so potentially yes they could track it back to a stolen car. I don't know whether they do cross reference such things as a matter of course though, especially given it's not a required field (imports don't have them on the V5 for example). Assuming they did track it back to a stolen car then you'd be screwed - while you wouldn't be at any risk of prosecution if you could back up that you bought the engine "in good faith" but you'd have no title to the goods and so could be made to return it and would be out whatever money you had spent. – motosubatsu Nov 25 '17 at 15:55
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    The best strategy is to source an engine from a reputable seller - it's not a cast iron guarantee but it certainly will be your best option short of buying from a dealer. – motosubatsu Nov 25 '17 at 16:00

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