I no longer need a holiday.
The DVLA’s vehicle registration certificate used to look like this:
It now looks like this:
About ten days ago I got round to sending off my change of address to Swansea. I sent off the relevant bit of the first form. I got back the second one on Saturday. Other than pretty lambs and woods and getting slightly sunburnt just below the nape of my neck, my weekend was therefore spent panicking as the result of receiving a bright red form with “This does not prove ownership” and “Buyer beware” emblazoned across the front. So first thing this morning I phoned the DVLA, and tentatively enquired if there might have been some mistake and them not be telling me that I didn’t actually own my car, and happily my too-good-to-be-true second-hand car purchase remains true: the DVLA has introduced a new form (last year) and quite a lot of people have made the same mistake. I can’t imagine why.
Apparently it is all down to the fact that the DVLA don't register ownership, for which your proof is e.g. the receipt, so the fact that Jim Bloggs has a registration certificate in his name doesn't guarantee that he actually paid for the vehicle, and the form is just alerting people to that. But they might have included a cover note! Official explanation here.