How to Sell a Car to a Private Party

by Pamela Gardapee

You need to know how to sell a car to a private party in order to get the most money. You also need to know the legalities of selling the car to someone. Explaining everything about the car is important so that the buyer knows what to expect. If there are some problems with the car, you need to explain what they are and how they affect the car as far as running it and driving it. If there are things about the car that make it unsuitable for road driving, this must be conveyed to potential buyers.

Prepare a document that details everything that is wrong with the car. This is important in states that have lemon laws. A lemon law can be used if a car is bought and the buyer finds out the car is unsuitable for road driving because it requires too many repairs. List everything that you know is wrong with the car.

Allow the potential buyer to test-drive the car. It is better if you go along with the person that is test-driving the car. This protects you in case the driver is tempted to take the car without returning it. You will also know how it is being driven.

Answer any questions the buyer has about the car. He may ask about the mileage, gas consumption or even whether you are the first owner of the car.

Obtain a copy of the history of the car from a site such as CarFax. This will help sell the car, especially if there have been no documented accidents.

Sign the title for the car as the seller and fill in the mileage of the car. Date the title and give it to the buyer only after you receive all of the payment.


  • check Make sure the car is clean before selling it.
  • check Have a mechanic check the engine to certify it is in good running condition.


  • close Always have the buyer sign the documented car issues and keep a copy.

Items you will need

About the Author

Pamela Gardapee is a writer with more than seven years experience writing Web content. Being functional in finances, home projects and computers has allowed Gardapee to give her readers valuable information. She studied accounting, computers and writing before offering her tax, computer and writing services to others.

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