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Sell Your Car Safely

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Posts: 10,059
edited April 2017 in Editorial
imageSell Your Car Safely

Here are the best tips for safely interacting with strangers as you sell your car.

Read the full story here


Comments

  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    An easy way to make a copy of the potential buyer's driver's license is to take a photo of it. If you use your cell phone camera, you can email to yourself or someone else immediately.
  • Craigslist tells you not to accept cashier's checks because if they are forged and you deposit them you will be in big financial trouble. So what form of payment should be accepted from the buyer?
  • clachnitclachnit CaliforniaPosts: 35
    @Steve_: Great tip. Thanks.
    @andeebee: Cash, and nothing but.

    --Carroll Lachnit, features editor, Edmunds.com
  • What about if you have a loan on the vehicle you are selling? We don't have the title in hand.
  • glam1glam1 Posts: 8
    Thanks Steve for that tip.
  • Great article. Just what I've been looking for. All the others that I read weren't nearly as informative and relevant.
  • sdtaylorsdtaylor Posts: 1
    Better yet, tell potential buyers that fore safety's sake, before any test drive you will take a photograph of them, their driver's license and their car with your cell phone and email the photos to your spouse/friend/etc. Ask the friend to call/email you upon receipt.

    The photos do no good if you AND your phone are suddenly missing! The buyer then also knows someone is waiting for you to check in with them at the end of the test drive. It only takes 2 minutes, but honest buyers shouldn't mind--and you shouldn't mind if creepy people say they have changed their mind and walk away! Having a 'safe' code word to use with your friend as described above is also a good idea. Stay safe.
  • k1mtk1mt Posts: 1
    Seriously? An article about how to sell a car safely and no mention on how money should exchange hands and what forms of payment to accept? Ridiculous.
  • If at all possible, go with the buyer to the issuing bank and verify availability of the funds in person. Banks are a great place to have your title notarized and meet to deliver the vehicle. Some banks have Saturday AM hours too.
  • sajebcsajebc Posts: 2
    I am selling my truck. Im in Canada he's in the states. He wants me to send they VIN as well as front and back of my title and registration (to get a bank loan) as my truck is over the 126000 miles which is the banks max imum milage for a loan. this all seems a bit weird. why would my info make a difference?
  • texasestexases Posts: 8,812
    Find a different buyer. Too much info requested, to me.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    I agree. Be cautious. If you feel the buyer is sincere, and you haven't had much action otherwise, then ask him for the name of his bank and location (NOT the phone #, you can find that yourself) and talk to a loan officer about this. I wouldn't mind giving the VIN but not my personal info and address.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    I don't see why it matters if the buyer wants to "flip" the car. As long as you control the deal by getting the price you want, what do you care what the buyer does with the car?
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 119,929
    sajebc said:

    I am selling my truck. Im in Canada he's in the states. He wants me to send they VIN as well as front and back of my title and registration (to get a bank loan) as my truck is over the 126000 miles which is the banks max imum milage for a loan. this all seems a bit weird. why would my info make a difference?

    Is your truck really special, that the buyer couldn't find one like it in the US?

    I would never try to sell my car to someone out of the country.. even Canada. Too much to go wrong.

    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and share!

    Edmunds Moderator

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    On the other hand, if it's been trouble for you, sending it far away might not be a bad idea. :)
  • sajebcsajebc Posts: 2
    edited February 2016
    ask him for the name of his bank and location and talk to a loan officer about this. GOOD IDEA.
    I don't see why it matters if the buyer wants to "flip" the car. FINE WITH ME
    s your truck really special, that the buyer couldn't find one like it in the US? My truck is worth a bit more in the states than Canada (based on asking prices of similar trucks) the advantage for both of us is the USD exchange rate @35%. The buyer is going to save thousands and I will get more for the truck than if I sell it here. We both win. In my particular case the truck was originally registered in the states so taking it back down requires very little paperwork. Those of you looking to buy and living near the border might consider buying in Canada.....Most of these trucks were manufactured in the states anyway.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    The other problem with flippers is that they won't register your car so they can avoid paying the taxes and fees.

    So even though your plates may stay with your and not the car (varies by state), and some states have forms to submit that tell the state you've sold the car, and even though you notify your insurance company, you may still wind up with parking tickets in the mail or worse, an accident victim will try to tie you to the car, even though you sold it. (One example)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    That's a car from California, where the plates go with the car. The seller made the fatal error of not submitting the R138 Release of Liability Form to his DMV. Basically he did everything wrong.
  • SeaDadLifeSeaDadLife Posts: 1
    Payment...I meet at the buyer’s bank and have their banker notarize the sale and issue the cashiers check while I wait. That way I know it is genuine.
    Buying/Selling across borders...be *very* wary of import/export duties & fees.
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