How do you transfer the ownership of a car?

How do you transfer the ownership of a car?

The cost of a brand new car in Hong Kong is astonishingly expensive. Car buyers will first have to pay around HK $100,000 - $200,000 for an automobile, as well as the first car registration tax and license fee. Given that the value of a new car tends to fall at an alarming rate over the first 12 months, it is little wonder that even the most enthusiastic car fans may consider purchasing a second-hand car instead.

In today’s Kwiksure article, we will talk about the ownership transfer of a second-hand car.

Before the transfer of ownership

Before the transfer of ownership, you should have already selected your desired second-hand car, test drove it, and sent it to a garage or testing centre for a thorough inspection. Doing so can greatly reduce the risks of purchasing a used car of poor quality.

Purchasing car insurance

Before applying for the transfer of the vehicle’s ownership, car buyers should purchase a motor insurance policy in their own name for the used car. Hong Kong laws mandate all car owners should at least secure third-party motor insurance for their vehicles and many insurance companies, such as Kwiksure, offer online price quotation services.

The buyer should prepare the following documents to secure car insurance:

  • A copy of the Vehicle Registration Document

  • Proof of identity of all drivers (Hong Kong Identity Card or passport)

  • A copy of the driving licence of all drivers

  • Proof of no claims discount (if applicable)

Cover Note

Before applying for the transfer of the vehicle’s ownership, car buyers should also ask for a copy of the vehicle registration document from the seller, so that the insurer can generate a quote (based on the model, engine size, etc.) and issue a temporary insurance cover note to you. Make sure to bring this with you on the day of the transfer, as it is a required document to finalise the Notice of Transfer, and you will be covered to drive your recently purchased car home.

Application for the ownership transfer

Both the buyer and seller need to fill out and sign the TD 25 form as proof that both parties agree to this transaction. Within 72 hours of the ownership transfer, both the buyer and seller should bring along the following documents in person to a Licensing office:

  • Vehicle Registration Document (the original document signed by the registered owner)

  • Proof of identity of both buyer and seller (Passport or HKID no.)

  • Proof of insurance (Insurance Cover Note)

  • Address proof of buyer (issued within the past 3 months)

  • The appropriate fee (cash/EPS): motorcycle HK$250; other types of cars HK$1,000 (usually paid by the buyer)

Also, please note that the four Licensing offices will only open from 9 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday. 

Licensing office


Hong Kong Licensing Office

3/F, United Centre, 95 Queensway, Hong Kong

Kowloon Licensing Office

2/F, Cheung Sha Wan Government Offices, 303 Cheung Sha Wan Road, Kowloon 

Kwun Tong Licensing Office

5/F, Kowloon East Government Office, 12 Lei Yue Mun Road, Kowloon

Sha Tin Licensing Office

2/F, Sha Tin Government Offices, 1 Sheung Wo Che Road, Sha Tin, New Territories

How should I pay the seller for the used car?

We suggest that the buyer should pay cash or a cashier order to the seller after completing the ownership transfer. Or, if the seller agrees, you can go to the bank together for the payment after the ownership transfer. If the car inspection and ownership transfer do not occur on the same day, you can pay the seller a small deposit after the inspection and sign the provisional sale and purchase agreement first, and pay the rest on the day of ownership transfer.

Provisional Sale and Purchase Agreement

The agreement should specify that: (1) the vehicle does not have any loans on it, and (2) it is not on instalments. Finally, before the vehicle is transferred, you should ensure that the fine (if any) of the previous owner has been fully paid. If not, you will be responsible for the fine.

Contact Kwiksure for best motor insurance

With 20 years of experience and well-established partnership with over 60 local insurers, Kwiksure is a leading motor insurance brokerage that specializes in motor insurance, motorbike insurance (both third-party insurance and comprehensive insurance), travel insurance, and home insurance.

Our team of experts has extensive sales experience and can turn obscure jargon into layman terms. Also, our feature articles shed light on different motor insurance topics and related news affairs with expert analysis. For instance, we have recently talked about “What you need to know about purchasing a vehicle in Hong Kong” and curated “A guide on buying a car in Hong Kong”.

Contact us today to get impartial insurance advice, an obligation-free quote, and a plan comparison!