Second hand vehicles dealer licence

A second-hand motor vehicle dealer's licence is required to sell second-hand motor vehicles within Aberdeenshire. This includes sale by auction.

A second-hand dealer within Aberdeenshire means a person carrying on a business as a dealer in second-hand motor vehicles of any description. It can include individuals who buy and sell second-hand vehicles from their homes or by other means, on a regular basis.

We may impose conditions on the licence.

A second-hand dealer's licence is not required for:

  • a pawnbroker
  • a business as a wholesale dealer purchasing exclusively from licensed second-hand dealers
  • a charity entered in the Scottish Charity Register
  • a dealer in second-hand goods or articles incidental to another business which is not being a dealer in such goods or articles
  • a business either of financing the acquisition of goods by means of hire-purchase agreements, conditional sale agreements or credit sale agreements or of financing the use of goods by means of hiring agreements


There are some standard conditions (PDF 129KB) second hand dealer need to meet.

Compliance with Planning and Consumer Protection legislation may also be required.

You must be a fit and proper person and not be disqualified from holding a licence.

You must not have had an application refused for the same licence within the 12 months prior to making your application, unless you have had a material change in circumstances.

The land or premises must be suitable for selling second-hand motor vehicles.

Keeping records

The licence holder shall keep or cause to be kept a register of all motor vehicles bought and sold. The register must be in the form of a properly bound book with consecutively numbered pages, or in another form approved by the council, and each vehicle purchased by the licence holder must be numbered.

The register must include the following details in a style approved by the council:

  • Date of purchase
  • Purchase price
  • Colour
  • Make and model of vehicle
  • Date of first registration
  • Engine and chassis numbers
  • Registration number
  • Name and address of seller
  • Name and address of any previous owner shown on the registration document
  • Odometer reading both on purchase and on sale
  • Date of sale
  • Sale price
  • Date of most recent MOT certificate
  • Method of sale, for example, cash, hire ­purchase, conditional sale

Records must be preserved for at least three years. The licence holder will make records available for inspection at any reasonable time by any authorised officer of Aberdeenshire Council’s Consumer Protection, Police Scotland, or the council.

Telling us about any changes

You must notify us in writing of any changes to the details of the Licence. This information should be submitted, in writing, within one month of the changes taking place.

If the need for the licence becomes redundant, you should surrender the licence to us as soon as possible.

Application fee

An application fee is payable. The fee is currently £166. The fee must be paid at the same time the application for the licence is lodged with us. The fee is non-refundable.

You can pay by either:

Unfortunately we are unable to accept payment by BACs, cheques or cash.

The application will not be considered complete until the fee is paid.

How to apply

You can apply for a second hand motor vehicle dealer licence onlinehowever we may be required to request additional information due to the limitations of the online system.

Alternatively you can apply in paper by completing the second hand motor vehicle application form (PDF 256KB)Please send your competed form by email to or by post to, please note physical mail is only checked once a week:

Aberdeenshire Council
Legal and People
Arduthie Road
AB39 2DQ

If you are unable to complete the forms, please call us and we will assist you to apply over the telephone.

Displaying a site notice

At the same time as lodging your application for a licence, you must display the appropriate site notice (PDF 85KB), at the location from which your business is to operate, for a period of 21 days.

Thereafter, you must submit a certificate of compliance (PDF 69KB) to us, stating that the site notice was correctly displayed, or explaining why you were unable to display the site notice.

Failure to provide the necessary information and documentation, or the application fee, will result in the inability to further process the application.

Application process

Full approval will not be granted until the required information and documentation has been provided, examined and deemed satisfactory, and the application has been fully processed.

You are not permitted to deal in second-hand motor vehicles until such time as a second-hand dealer licence has been issued to you.

We will send a copy of your application to the Police, the Firemaster, Planning Services, Trading Standards, and Environmental Health (our consultees).

In the absence of objections or adverse representations, your licence will be issued to you under delegated authority.

Where objections or adverse representations are made, your application will be referred to the appropriate Committee of Aberdeenshire Council for consideration.

We will keep a register of applications in which we will enter the details of the receipt of each application, our final decision and reasons for the decision, the details of the terms of each licence granted and a note of any suspension, variation of the terms, or surrender, of a licence.