How do you handle the bill of sale and title when buying a car "online"?

andy1023andy1023 Member Posts: 1
edited April 2016 in General

I am considering buying a 2015 Jeep Wrangler online that I saw listed on Autotrader. I live in Colorado and its hard to find a good deal on Jeeps (not to mention the jeep I want), while the seller is in California. I read the Edmunds article here which mentioned some best practices and recommendations: There were a few things it didn't cover though:

1. How do you handle the bill of sale?
2. How do you handle signing over the title?

I would assume the bill of sale can be handled via scanning and email and the title can be filled out and signed by the seller so I just have to sign it on arrival. I'm curious from those of you who have bought a car through this method how you handled those two items and if there is a better way.



  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    edited April 2016
    Make sure you get a scan of the title beforehand to make sure everything is in order---no salvage, seller is the owner, etc.--that sort of thing. If the title says "Jones" and your seller is "Smith", you got a problem.

    Since the seller is unlikely to send you a title unless he is paid and you are no doubt reluctant to pay them without having a title (which is, after all, proof of ownership), then the seller can take the title to a bank officer at their bank, and give you that person's phone #. You can speak to them, and ask them to get the title from the owner, properly signed over, put it in a Fedex envelope addressed to you, and mail as soon as your wire transfer clears. Then everybody's happy.
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