ModelViewSet - Update nested field

I'm currently working on Django with Django Rest Framwork.

I can't update my object within nested object field.

class OwnerSerializer(serializers.ModelSerializer):
    class Meta:
        model =  Owner
        fields = ('id', 'name')

class CarSerializer(serializers.ModelSerializer):
    owner = ownerSerializer(many=False, read_only=False) 
    class Meta:
        model =  Car
        fields = ('id', 'name', 'owner')

class OwnerViewSet(viewsets.ModelViewSet):
    queryset = Owner.objects.all()
    serializer_class = OwnerSerializer

class CarViewSet(viewsets.ModelViewSet):
    serializer_class = CarSerializer
    queryset = Car.objects.all()

    def create(self, request):
        serialized = self.serializer_class(data=request.DATA)
        if serialized.is_valid():
            return Response(status=HTTP_202_ACCEPTED)
            return Response(serializer.errors, status=status.HTTP_400_BAD_REQUEST)

When I do this :

Request URL:http://localhost:9000/api/v1/cars/1/?format=json
Request Method:PUT
Request Paylod :
    "name": "TEST", 
    "ower": {
        "name": "owner_test"

I get the following Response :

The `.update()` method does not support writable nestedfields by default.
Write an explicit `.update()` method for serializer `app.serializers.CarSerializer`,
or set `read_only=True` on nested serializer fields.

Knowing :

  • I want to keep the owner serialization on GET;
  • We can imagine the car nested by another object and ect...

How can I do if i want to change the owner when I update the car.


A little late, but, Try this,

class OwnerSerializer(serializers.ModelSerializer):
    class Meta:
        model =  Owner
        fields = ('id', 'name')
        extra_kwargs = {
            'id': {
                'read_only': False, 
                'required': True
        } #very important

    def create(self, validated_data):
        # As before.

    def update(self, instance, validated_data):
        # Update the  instance
        instance.some_field = validated_data['some_field']

        # Delete any detail not included in the request
        owner_ids = [item['owner_id'] for item in validated_data['owners']]
        for owner in cars.owners.all():
            if not in owner_ids:

        # Create or update owner 
        for owner in validated_data['owners']:
            ownerObj = Owner.objects.get(pk=item['id'])
            if ownerObje:
               ownerObj = Owner.create(car=instance,**owner)

        return instance

Just in-case someone stumbles on this

had the same error in my case but setting read_only to True fixed it for me.

    owner = ownerSerializer(many=False, read_only=True) 

Note that, this field won't appear in the form when posting data to the api.

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