How to Sell a Used Car in Massachusetts

by William Adkins

For most of us, selling a car is a major transaction. If you want to sell a used car in Massachusetts, it’s a little more complicated than in most states. That’s because it has very strict consumer-protection laws that apply to private sales, as well as to car dealers. But if you take the time to understand the rules and plan your car-marketing strategy, you can sell a used car in Massachusetts with minimum hassle.

Step 1

Find out your obligations to the buyer under Massachusetts law. Two statutes are important. The first is the Lemon Aid Law. Anyone who buys a used car may take it in for a state inspection within seven days. If the car does not pass, the buyer can return it for a full refund. So, if you want to sell a used car in Massachusetts, it’s wise to have it inspected yourself and fix any problems if the vehicle doesn’t pass. The second statute is the Used Vehicle Warranty Law. This requires you to disclose any safety problems or defects that affect the car’s operation.

Step 2

Keep your headaches to a minimum by having the necessary paperwork ready ahead of time. You must have a title to sell a car in Massachusetts. You can get a duplicate title from the Registry of Motor Vehicles. You also need a bill of sale (you can make one using online software by clicking the link below). Finally, have a written list disclosing all safety and mechanical defects that you are aware of.

Step 3

Get your car ready to sell. Buyers find a clean car more appealing than a dirty one. Have the car detailed before you show it to prospective buyers. Remove any bumper stickers, decorative decals and other personal items. You should check the Kelly Blue Book (find a link to the online version below) and get the fair-market value. This will help you set a realistic asking price.

Step 4

Carry out an advertising campaign to market your car. Post ads on the Internet as well as in local newspapers and auto trading publications. Another good strategy is to put advertising fliers up on local community, church, and college bulletin boards.

Step 5

Fill out all the required paperwork when you strike a deal with a buyer. You are legally required to fill out the appropriate sections on the title (especially the odometer reading). Fill out the bill of sale as well. Then you and the buyer sign the title, the bill of sale and the list of defects. Make copies for your records and give the originals of all three to the buyer. Last of all, remove the car tags. They stay with you — the buyer must get his/her own tags.

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