What Paperwork Do I Need to Sell My Car?


Selling your car is an involving and tiring process. Make sure your car is in order, find a buyer, and prepare the paperwork needed to complete the transaction. Paperwork is essential in describing the details of the owner, among others. Like most people, you might be worried more about selling your car, but you need to retrieve the paperwork for your car.

This article will go into detail about the necessary documents that you need before selling your car. Ensuring all the necessary documents are available beforehand can affect how smooth your car sale process will be.

The Vehicle Title

The car title is an essential document needed to sell a car. This document shows all the details of the legal owner of the car. At the same time, most people use financing to buy their cars which prevents them from having total ownership of the car until you clear the loan. You can be allowed to sell the car once you have a clearance letter that indicates a complete payment of the loan. You can also replace your title from your local DMV if you lost the original one.

Maintenance History

Regardless of how long you have been using your car, you must have had it repaired and maintained several times. This information is helpful to the buyer as it details the types of repairs and maintenance that your car has had. You can track your car maintenance with CARFAX and get print out a copy of the report before selling your car. In case you fail to trace this information, try contacting the car manufacturer dealership if you were servicing it with them. 

The Transfer of Ownership

This official document is a form filled by both you and the buyer indicating a transfer of assets (car) for tax purposes. Most provinces will demand this document as it signifies a change of ownership that your car has undergone. The concerned governmental agency will target the right owner if they require adherence to a process. Similar to the vehicle title, this free document shows ownership of the car and allows transfer to the buyer.

Vehicle History Report

This document provides a detailed description of all the accidents reported and any significant modifications your car has had. Your car history report will bring closure to the buyer on four things:

First, If your car has been salvaged – the report retrieves data from the law enforcement databases, auto repair shops, and insurance companies showing the severity of the accident. Many car owners may fail to explicitly disclose this information to buyers on fears of lost bargaining power.

Second, if your car has had other damages – Apparently accidents are not the only way to damage your car. Your car history report will include this information whether hit by a tornado or caught fire in the parking lot. Third, the use of the car – the resort will also document the uses your car has been doing. It could have been a taxi or a rental car; this information is essential; please ensure you don’t overlook it.

The history report also displays the odometer section that tracks the miles your car has covered over its lifetime. Many car sellers have lied about their car’s odometer reading by giving it a lower number to hide the car’s correct miles. This information is obtained from auto repair shops that record it each time they repair your car.

Car Warranty Information

A car warranty is issued by the manufacturer or extended by a dealership. This covers a car’s maintenance for a certain period. Print a cover; you should print a copy for the new buyer to help you negotiate the best possible price. The longer the warranty period, the more bargaining power you have over the buyer. 

Owners Manual

A manual is a document containing detailed information on a vehicle. It describes the different features of your vehicle to help new car owners understand the vehicle’s features. If your car is slightly new or of a newer model, retaining the owner’s manual with be helpful for your car buyer. It shows details like turning an indicator or aligning your rare view mirrors while parking and many nitty-gritty. While it is not legally required, it can serve as a bonus or an indication of car maintenance, which some buyers will appreciate.

A Bill of Sale

Although it is not mandatory, a bill of sale is a piece of paper with all the transaction’s details. When selling your car, it is essential to note this information down, including the name of the buyer and the seller, the car details (mileage, color, doors, seats, etc.), the price, and the signatures of both parties. While it might seem invaluable, this document can show ownership of the car once the transaction is done. 

Some of the mentioned documents are easy to acquire with a click of a button; however, the most crucial ones, like the car title, will require you to complete the pending payment before the lender can issue a clearance letter. The earlier you start this process, the faster your sale will be.


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