Outside Contributors

What Documents Do You Need When Selling A Car?

What Documents Do You Need When Selling A Car?

Thinking of selling your car? It’s important that you have all the right documents in order before you start looking for buyers. Certain documents could be necessary if you want to legally sell your car. Others aren’t essential, but can help to gain trust from a buyer if you supply them. Below are a few examples of documents that you need to sell a car.

Car title

The car title is a document that states you are the legal owner of the vehicle. Different states have their own systems when it comes to these certificates. In most cases, it is illegal to sell a car without a car title. 

Your state’s DMV website should have more information on the matter. If you don’t have a car title certificate, you can apply for one online. 

Bill of sale

Some states also require you to provide a bill of sale when selling a car. This pretty much serves as a receipt. You can print off a bill of sale online to use during the sale. 

Even in states where it is not required, a bill of sale can still be worth providing as it can make the sale feel more official. Most car dealerships will offer a bill of sale.

Warranty documents

If a car is still covered by a warranty, you should supply any warranty documentation along with the vehicle. This ensures that the warranty is passed on to the new owner so that they can make a claim if necessary.

In some cases, a warranty may not be transferable. It is worth contacting the issuer of the warranty to check beforehand so that you are not giving the buyer an unusable warranty.

Most car dealerships will offer a warranty with the sale of a car as a way of building trust. A private seller however, you are not expected to provide a warranty if the car doesn’t already have one. 

Service history receipts

It is not a legal requirement to provide service history documents. However, it can often help to build trust with a buyer by offering proof that you have looked after the vehicle. 

Dig out any receipts of any services or safety inspections you have done over the years. Receipts of repairs could also be worth providing to show that certain fixes have been made. 

If you have not had your vehicle serviced or inspected for a while, it may be worth scheduling this before you sell. Some buyers will not commit to a sale unless you have taken these measures. 

Owner’s manual

You are not required to provide the owner’s manual when selling a car, but again it can be worthwhile. This manual could be handy for helping the next owner to familiarise themselves with the car. Many buyers are likely to ask about it. 

If you haven’t got an owner’s manual, you can always buy one for your car online. They are usually quite cheap and easy to find for popular relatively new car models, but may be harder to source for older and rarer models. 

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