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Using a Car Bill Of Sale when Selling a Used Car

You will need legal forms and paperwork if you are going to sell you car to a private buyer. If you are selling your car for more than $500, you should have a written contract. An oral contract to sell a car for over $500 may not be enforceable. Even under $500, it is always best to put the contract in writing if you are not going to conclude the deal immediately with a Bill of Sale.

Many states require the buyer to present a Bill of Sale to register the purchased car. A Bill of Sale also may serve as a receipt.

The Bill of Sale should contain:

  • Date of the sale
  • Year, make, and model of the car
  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
  • Odometer reading
  • A statement of the car's condition
  • Amount paid for the car, and in what form (cash, check, and the like)
  • Buyer's and seller's names, addresses, and phone numbers.

The seller should sign and date the Bill of Sale, and both you and the seller should get a copy.

Checking the VIN number on a car before selling it can let you and the buyer know that it is not a salvaged vehicle, or in commons terms, a lemon. A Vehicle Identification Number encodes specific information about a vehicle, including country of manufacture, manufacturer, model, body style and even engine and other information. To be safe, check your car history to confirm it has a clean bill of health before selling.